Super25 : : General
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tri State Arsenal reigns supreme

Bryan Cooney        
Photo: Perfect Game

FORT MYERS, Fla – Avenging a prior loss when a title is on the line is what the best teams relish the most. That’s exactly what Tri State Arsenal did on Sunday when they beat the Evoshield Canes NC – Gallaher, 3-2, in the 12u PG Super National Champoinship game.

Tri State Arsenal has staked itself to being one of the top youth baseball programs in the country, with their success at the 11u Super25 a year ago resulting in a championship. The Arsenal were back again, this time a year older but with a target on their back knowing teams would throw their best at them to try and knock them out.

In pool play, the Arsenal tasted a rare defeat to the Canes on Friday, dropping a 6-2 contest that would send the two teams in different sides of the playoff bracket with the possibility of meeting again in the final. That very scenario played out as both teams survived tight playoff contests to meet in Sunday's title game at Centurylink Sports Complex.

As expected, the contest saw very few scoring opportunities as Arsenal starter Edward Copper (2023, Ivyland, Pa.), and Canes' starter Andrew Schneider (2023, Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), were excellent as the teams entered the fifth scoreless. Copper hit his pitch limit on his eighth strikeout of the contest and Sebastian Pisacreta (2022, Moorestown, N.J.) took over for the Arsenal.

Ben Stahlman (2022, Apex, N.C.) lined a one-out single to right for the Canes, and he moved up to second on a passed ball. Asher Lucas (2023, Cary, N.C.) laid a bunt down with Pisacreta making the play onto first for the out, but Stahlman came all the way around to score on the play to put the Canes in front 1-0.

With the Arsenal down to their final three outs, they pieced together baserunners with a one-out double from Joey Bogart (2022, Sicklerville, N.J.) and Jeremy Cheeseman (2022, Marlton, N.J.) being plunked to bring the meat of the Arsenal order to the plate.

Bogart was caught trying to steal third for the second out of the inning, but A.J. Gracia (2023, Monroe, N.J.) singled to right to keep the inning alive for Pablo SantosSantos (2022, Jersey City, N.J.) sent a liner to left that went all the way to the wall, bringing in two runs and the throw home to try and get the trail runner got away, allowing Santos to score to put the Arsenal in front 3-1 with three outs to get to nail down another national championship.

The Canes would not go quietly, as Gavin Gallaher (2023, Apex, N.C.) worked a 10-pitch leadoff walk and Drew Lanphere (2022, Wendell, N.C.) followed with a single to right to give them life. Pisacreta picked up a strikeout and would surrender a run on a fielder's choice as the Canes drew to within 3-2 with the tying run at first with two outs.

Pisacreta would get Bryce Dail to bounce out to shortstop as the Arsenal held on, 3-2, to essentially repeat as PG Super25 champions.

Santos was named Most Valuable Player for the tournament for the Arsenal, as he finished the event with a .571 average (8-for-14), with five RBI and 10 stolen bases.

Breiley Polanco (2022, Paterson, N.J.) won Most Valuable Pitcher honors for the event, as the lefthander paced the Arsenal for the week on the mound with 18 strikeouts in eight innings of work, including 11 in a five-inning outing in the Arsenal's 5-4 quarterfinal victory over Team BEAST United on Saturday.

2017 12u PG Super25 MVP: Pablo Santos

2017 12u PG Super25 MV-Pitcher: Breiley Polanco

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