Tournaments | Story | 5/28/2018

PG WMDC hands out 3 crowns

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: AZ T-Rex Easton 18u (Perfect Game)

AZ T-Rex Easton wins battle of Titans, 18u WMDC championship

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Just over the last two years, teams from the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based T-Rex Baseball Club and the Las Vegas, Nev.-based Las Vegas Recruits (LVR) organizations have combined to win three Perfect Game WWBA West Memorial Day Classic Championships and finish as runners-up two other times. There seems to be a rivalry a-brewin’.

That’s why it was such a treat and also completely captivating when No. 1-seeded AZ T-Rex Easton 18u and No. 2 LVR 18u – both 18u teams with rosters that could play in 17u and, in LVR’s case, 16u events – locked horns Monday in the championship game at the PG WWBA 18u West Memorial Day Classic, played on the Dodgers side of the Camelback Ranch spring training complex.

AZ T-Rex 18u (6-0-0) pounced early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first against LVR 18u (5-1-0) and never trailed on its way to a 6-2 victory in the championship. It was a game played in front of an enthusiastic following of family and friends from both sides on a hot but otherwise delightful late spring day in the West Valley.

2019 corner-infielder/outfielder and right-handed pitcher Sean Rimmer scattered nine hits and gave up only two unearned runs in 6 1/3 innings of work to pick up the win, and while AZ T-Rex managed to plate six runs with its nine hits, LVR could only get two of the unearned variety with its nine safeties.

“This is my fifth year playing with T-Rex, and a couple of years ago we came in second at this tournament, and I knew then we had a great chance to win it,” Rimmer told PG postgame. “I knew I was going to have to throw really good today against such a great team right there (LVR), and I did it. … I’ve got a couple of buddies on that team, so it was great to compete out there with them and come up with this ‘W’.”

Michael Zinter contributed three singles and an RBI to the T-Rex cause and Efrain Manzo singled, doubled and drove in a pair; Davis Heller singled and collected two RBI and Brian Kalmer singled and drove in one.

Tyler Whitaker, a 2021 right-hander/infielder/outfielder and an Arizona commit ranked No. 27 nationally in his class, led LVR by going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, but got roughed up on the mound; he surrendered five earned runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking three. LVR’s Paul Myro singled twice and scored a run and Zachary Rodriguez also singled twice.

AZ T-Rex Easton 18u earned the No. 1 seed by besting its four pool-play opponents by a combined 34-4 and then rallied to top No. 5 City Baseball 18u Showcase out of Seattle, Wash., 7-6 in Monday morning’s semifinal pairing.

“Some of these young men on our 17u group have been with me since they were 12-years-old,” T-Rex Baseball Club founder and head coach Rex Gonzalez told PG on Sunday. “The game will separate who can play and who cannot play over the course of time. … We’ve been pretty fortunate to have guys that have embraced our program and have really bought into it and so far, it’s been somewhat successful.”

LVR grabbed the No. 2 seed by outscoring its pool partners 33-5 and beat the No. 3 Padres Scout Team from nearby Mesa, 3-1, in the semifinals. That’s how evenly matched these two teams are.

Rimmer, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound do-everything type of player from Mesa, was 7-for-19 (.368) with a double, triple, five RBI and a pair of stolen bases over the weekend, and those numbers coupled with his pitching performance Monday were enough to earn him the Most Valuable Player Award.

LVR’s Jaden Agassi, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound 2020 right-hander/third baseman from Las Vegas, pitched 10 innings over two appearances this weekend and didn’t allow an earned run on three hits while striking out 15 and walking just one; he was named the Most Valuable Pitcher.

This was Agassi’s 15th PG event and his PG Trophy Case is already in need of an addition. This is the third time he has been named the MV Pitcher at a PG WWBA tournament (2016 PG West Freshman National Championship, 2017 PG West Freshman MLK Championship) to go with his one MV Player award (2016 PG WWBA 14u West Memorial Day Classic).

LVR teams won the 2016 and 2017 14u WMDC and one was the runner-up at the 2017 16u WMDC; a T-Rex teamwon the 2016 18u WMDC and one was the runner-up at the 2016 16u WMDC.

“It’s an honor putting on this uniform,” Rimmer said. “Coach Rex puts in a lot of hard work with all of us and you’ve just got to play hard when you have this uniform on.”

2018 WWBA 18u West Memorial Day Classic champions: AZ T-Rex Easton 18u

2018 WWBA 18u West Memorial Day Classic runner-up: LVR 18u

2018 WWBA 18u West Memorial Day Classic MVP: Sean Rimmer

2018 WWBA 18u West Memorial Day Classic MV-Pitcher: Jaden Agassi

Comebacks lead Wilson Sandlot AZ to 16u WMDC championship

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Wilson Sandlot AZ were all about climbing out of holes on Monday, and now they have a championship at the PG WWBA 16u West Memorial Day Classic to show for their efforts. And the sixth inning of a ballgame just became the Sandlot player’s favorite inning of them all.

Only hours after scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to erase a 3-1 deficit that led to a 5-4, eight-inning victory over 5 Star MVP Hustle in a semifinal contest, the No. 2-seeded Sandlot AZ (5-0-0) plated three runs in the top of the sixth inning to climb out of a 2-0 hole and beat No. 1 AZ T-Rex Easton 16u (4-1-0), 3-2, in the championship game at the Camelback Ranch complex.

“We have a lot of fight in this group; we did the same thing in the semifinals,” Sandlot AZ head coach Brian Rice said. “That’s a really good team; T-Rex is really well-coached and a really good team. But we’ve got some young kids with a lot of fight.”

T-Rex scored single runs in each of the bottom of the first and third innings to take a 2-0 lead into the sixth. Tyler Stone doubled and scored when Travis Warinner reached on an error to account for the first run and Drew Bond and Stone stroked back-to-back, two-out singles to plate the second run in the third.

That’s where things stood until the sixth when Sandlot AZ’s Ryan Campos and Wes Kath each drew one-out walks. Tyler Kearney then delivered an RBI single, Kath scored on an error and Zachary Kress chased Kearney home with a sac fly giving the Sandlot AZ all the runs they would need.

2021 righty Derek Figueroa allowed one earned run on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work to pick up the win.

It was Figueroa’s third appearance of the tournament and he was solid each time out. He allowed two earned runs on nine hits and one walk in his eight innings of work, striking out 10, and finished 2-0 with a save; he was named the Most Valuable Pitcher.

Stone, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound first baseman from Scottsdale was not an easy out the entire weekend, finishing 9-for-16 (.563) with four doubles and six RBI; he was named the Most Valuable Player.

The Wilson Sandlot AZ won there three of its pool-play games by a combined 22-6 score, good enough to earn the No. 2 seed; their semifinal and championship wins came by a combined two runs.

“Ninety percent (of the roster) are freshmen kids, and this is really our first time together with this group. The kids have played together a little bit off and on … but as the weekend went on we got to know each other a little bit better, and it was good; the kids came together at the right time.”

2018 WWBA 16u West Memorial Day Classic champions: Wilson Sandlot AZ

2018 WWBA 16u West Memorial Day Classic runner-up: AZ T-Rex Easton 16u

2018 WWBA 16u West Memorial Day Classic MVP: Tyler Stone

2018 WWBA 16u West Memorial Day Classic MV-Pitcher: Derek Figueroa

Pacific Baseball Academy skates to 14u WMDC title

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Unscratched, unblemished, unbeaten. Heck, the Pacific Baseball Academy was basically untouchable on their way to winning the championship at this weekend’s 14u PG WWBA West Memorial Day Classic.

Top-seeded PBA, based in West Hills, Calif., used yet another dominant performance to shut down No. 7 Lights Out out of Valencia, Calif, 8-0 in five innings in Monday afternoon’s championship game played at the Camelback Ranch complex, and completed a 6-0 run at the tournament.

PBA took advantage of six hits and seven walks to plate its eight runs, scoring three in the first inning, three in the second and two in the bottom of the fifth. The winning run was pushed across on a walk-off walk issued to Lucas Ragusin in the fifth, putting into effect the PG tournament run-rule.

Jacob Galloway was 2-for-2 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored, Andrew Citron was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run and Easton Rulli singled, walked and scored twice to pace PBA offensively.

2022 right-hander Jordan Jaffe needed only 56 pitches to toss five two-hit, shutout, walk-free innings, striking out three. Lights Out’s Matt Quintinar and Drew Laffery each singled twice, representing the only two hitters in the lineup who figured Jaffe out, if even for one pitch.

Rulli, a 2022 infielder from Moorpark, Calif., was 9-for-13 (.692) with two doubles, three RBI and five stolen bases and enough walks and hit-by-pitches to record an .800 OBP; he was named the Most Valuable Player.

Jaffe, who is from Encino, Calif., earned Most Valuable Pitcher honors after working seven innings over two appearances without giving up an earned run on two hits with three strikeouts without a walk.

PBA earned the playoffs’ No. 1 seed by outscoring its three pool-play opponents by a combined 33-1 and then outscored its three playoff foes by a combined 25-5, with all five runs being scored by MVP Hustle 2022 in an 8-5 semifinal-round victory; the Pac Baseball Academy pitching staff teamed-up to throw shutouts in four of the team’s six wins.

“Our group is kind of home-grown,” PBA head coach Matt Lacour said. “We stay together all fall, winter, all summer and we don’t bring in guys from the outside; that’s just kind of the way we do things. For us to go out against teams that are really talented and play the way we did without really any close game is a good testament to how we’re playing right now going into the summer. I’m real excited for this group and how they’re developing; this was a great tournament.”

2018 WWBA 14u West Memorial Day Classic champions: Pacific Baseball Academy

2018 WWBA 14u West Memorial Day Classic runner-up: Lights Out

2018 WWBA 14u West Memorial Day Classic MVP: Easton Rulli

2018 WWBA 14u West Memorial Day Classic MV-Pitcher: Jordan Jaffe

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