Tournaments | Story | 7/3/2018

Canes aim to defend 17u title

Nate Schweers        
Photo: Corbin Carroll (Perfect Game)

EMERSON, Ga. – Canes National 17u improved to 6-0 at the 2018 17u WWBA National Championship on Tuesday with a 9-1 win over Phenoms Southeast. The win solidifies the Canes as the team to beat in Pool V with just one game to go.

On the mound, reliever Will Smith was able to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning to keep the game tied at one. After that, Smith would settle in and toss four shutout innings, keeping hitters off balance with a good mix of pitches and exciting life to the fastball.

At the plate, Canes National was lead by great performances from Corbin Carroll and Anthony Volpe. Volpe was 3-for-4 during Tuesday’s game, collecting a double and a triple with a pair of RBI. Volpe, who is ranked as the third-best player in the state of New Jersey, is committed to playing his college baseball at Vanderbilt.

This Canes team is truly a national team. Their roster includes players from 15 different states. From Rhode Island to California, Canes National has certainly made their mark on the baseball world all around the country. This Canes team also has one of the most talented rosters in this year’s tournament, with 28 of their 31 players already committed to playing college baseball at the Division I level.

And while the faces have changed from last year’s 17u WWBA National Championship club that claimed the title, the ‘Canes’ name on the front of their jerseys remains the same.

One Canes player that has found himself far from home this week is Seattle native Corbin Carroll. Carroll was a good as advertised on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with a pair of impressive triples. He attends Lakeside High School, and is currently the 16th-best player in the 2019 class. While many guys on this team are new to each other, Carroll feels like this team is really coming together.

“Going from event to event and creating more of a connection with all of these guys is great. I met all of them in North Carolina about a month ago, and now they’re all really brothers to me,” said Carroll, who is braving the unfamiliar LakePoint heat to be here. “I’ve been here one time before, and it’s really just the premier spot and venue for youth baseball. It is absolutely amazing.”

Like Carroll, Cade Doughty is another highly touted player that has traveled a long way to get here. Doughty is from Denham Springs, Louisiana, and is currently ranked as the No. 1 player in the state.

“It has been a great time with the Canes. They do a really good job of welcoming a lot of people into this organization, and it does really well,” said Doughty. “ I’ve met a lot of new people, made a lot of new friends, and have built bonds that will last a lifetime.”

Doughty has no problem coming to Georgia to show of his talent, but the 23rd-best player in the 2019 class will be staying in state for his college baseball at Louisiana State. Doughty is the only Louisiana State commit on this Canes team.

“I’ve always had a good feel for LSU living just 15 minutes away. My dad went there, and I am actually going to be the fourth generation of my family to play sports there. The coaching staff is great, and I just love the stadium.”

Doughty’s father Richard lettered as a catcher at Louisiana State in 1989, and his brother Braden is already making an impact in Baton Rouge as well.

For Carroll, he will be taking a trip further from home to play his college baseball. Carroll is committed to UCLA, and is a member of their 2019 recruiting class that ranks as the 18th-best in the country according to Perfect Game.

“What drew me to UCLA was really the people,” said Carroll with a smile on his face. “The academics were very important and the weather is always a plus, but they just have great people and great coaches. I believe they have what it takes to succeed there.”

With both Carroll and Doughty committed to playing at such elite schools in the future, it is no surprise that they were both invited to attend the Perfect Game National Showcase at Tropicana Field last month. The event welcomed in some of the top players in the country to compete against one another for college and professional scouts alike.

“I had never played at a major league stadium before, so that first opportunity I was a little bit star struck,” said Carroll. “I just was able to get into it a little bit after that and I had a great time.”

Carroll flashed a lot of exceptional tools at the National Showcase. He ran a 6.33-second 60-yard dash, and was able to really impress with the bat for those in attendance. Doughty’s week was no different, as he ran a 6.65 60-yard dash and even crushed a double to the opposite gap.

“It was a really good time, and PG really put on a great event,” said Doughty. “Tropicana Field was an unbelievable experience, and I was happy I did well too.”

As this week’s tournament rolls on, the Canes will look to continue to get excellent play out of these two standout bats. For a team that has now scored 56 runs in six games, there is no need to change it up. That will be no problem for Cade Doughty.

“I am crazy superstitious,” said Doughty. “If I play well in one game I do the same exact thing the next game. Same breakfast and everything.”

The Canes are marching unscathed to Day 6 of the 17u WWBA National Championship, and make no mistake, these guys are looking to leave here with nothing but a championship. After walking away victorious at the WWBA World Championship in Jupiter last October – doing so then as a group of underclassmen for the Canes Prospects team – this roster that returns a large number of players believes they can do it again.

“We just have to keep the energy the same from game to game,” said Carroll. “If we can do that we can get it done.”

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