Tournaments | Story | 7/20/2018

Knights prevail at 15u WWBA

Nate Schweers        
Photo: Louisiana Knights Black (Perfect Game)

EMERSON, Ga. – In what was one of the more exciting and emotional games at LakePoint this summer, the Louisiana Knights Black bested Sheets Baseball 10-8 to win the 15u WWBA National Championship. Coming back from two runs behind twice in the game, the Knights used a four-run seventh inning to pull ahead for good.

In what was a thrilling game between two familiar foes from the state of Louisiana, runs score in bunches throughout the entire game. After Sheets Baseball was able to scratch across a pair in the bottom of the first inning, the Louisiana Knights responded with five of their own in the top of the second.

After Joshua Stevenson cut the lead to one by scoring on a passed ball, the Knights went for four straight hits from Baylor Cobb, Reese Smith, Rhett Rosevear, and Hunter Elliott. Elliott added a double and finished with two RBI in the championship game, and he also took home MV-Pitcher honors for the tournament.

“I think what Hunter really did this week was set the pace for pitchers in the playoffs,” said Knights head coach Chad Raley. “Up until this game, it was the first time gave up more than one run in a playoff game. Hunter was able to set the standard, and the entire staff chipped in to come out on top.”

Elliott, who is a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, tossed nine scoreless innings during this week’s action. The Mississippi commit is ranked as the 52nd-best player in the country by Perfect Game.

“I really stuck with the fastball a lot this week,” said Elliott. “I didn't go much off speed because I felt like at this level if I used my fastball well I could have a lot of success.”

After Sheets Baseball came back for five straight runs of their own, it was time for the Knights’ bats to answer the call once again. Trailing 7-5 in the top of the fifth, Josh Pearson connected on a long home run that cut the deficit to just one.

“Today I was just looking for the right pitch to hit and I got it,” said Pearson. “It [Winning] meant a lot to our whole team because we have been out here all week playing a lot of games. It just feels good.”

Pearson, who is a native of West Monroe, Louisiana, finished the day 2-for-3 with a double, home run, and two RBI. The physical left fielder was one of the most clutch performers on a Knights team that had their sights set on a championship.

“As I said yesterday, the 16’s set the bar pretty high, and these boys knew what they wanted to accomplish down here,” said coach Raley. “They had their minds set on it, and I am really excited for them to achieve what they set out to do.”

Pearson came up in another big spot in what was a wild top of the seventh inning on Friday. With two on and nobody out, Pearson drove a ball deep over the head of the center fielder to get the Louisiana Knights within one. After another double and a single to right, the Knights took a 10-8 lead.

That lead was all they would need, as reliever Brock Slaton was able to shut the door and give the Knights a national championship. This championship caps off an incredible week from the Louisiana Knights program.

The MVP of this year’s tournament was Brody Drost. Drost, who is committed to playing his college baseball at Louisiana State, was 2-for-5 with two RBI in Friday’s championship game. Prior to the championship, Drost was batting .469 with three doubles, three triples, and three home runs.

Not lost in the shuffle of Friday’s game was the scary collision in center field in the seventh inning. Our thoughts are with Kael Babin and his family, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

2018 15u WWBA National Championship runner-up: Sheets Baseball

2018 15u WWBA National Championship MVP: Brody Drost

2018 15u WWBA National Championship MV-Pitcher: Hunter Elliott

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