Tournaments | Story | 9/30/2018

Nat'l Qualifier co-champs crowned

Vincent Cervino        

EMERSON, Ga. – After a long, hard fought weekend where both teams showed they were certainly worthy of bids to the WWBA World Championship, Home Plate Chili Dogs Searcy and Team GA National were named Co-Champs of the event after a late day of baseball on Sunday.

Team GA stepped up to the plate in the semifinals against the Upstate Mavericks where the offense exploded late in the game to put up fifteen total runs in a blowout victory. Righthander Griffin Holcombe tossed a complete game for Team GA, running his fastball up to 85 mph on the afternoon and punching out three batters on the afternoon.

The game was never really in doubt as Team GA put up eight runs through four innings before tacking on a six-spot in the top of the fifth inning to put the game away. Future collegiate rivals Reagan Burford (Ole Miss commit) and Kamren James (Mississippi State commit) did most of the damage near the top of the lineup, as both had one triple and three RBIs on the afternoon.

Lefthander, and uncommitted junior, Sam Stratton earned MV-Pitcher honors for the event as he turned in a dominant performance during his start. Stratton tossed five shutout innings while allowing just one hit and striking out eleven batters during the performance.

Home Plate came down from a 4-2 deficit to outlast Team Elite 18u Black in a game that was an instant classic. The semifinal match lasted ten innings and resulted in a walkoff, 5-4 victory for Home Plate.

Both teams used multiple pitchers, and whatever was left available on their rosters, to try to take home this game. Team Elite was down 2-0 early before a four-run top of the fifth inning allowed them to take the lead. Home Plate would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a clutch two-out, two-run double off the bat of Coastal Carolina commit Brian Port to notch things up at four apiece.

From there the opposing pitchers did a good job at limiting hard contact and keeping the opposing offenses at bay. At the top of the tenth inning, PG rules kicked in and instituted the tie breaker scenario of bases loaded and one out. Home Plate forced a pop out and then a ground out to keep the game tied at four. Calin Smith then ripped a game winning single to win the game.

The MVP of the tournament was named Brian Port of Home Plate. In addition to his game-tying double, Port hit .385 including seven RBI and a home run.

2018 WWBA National Qualifier co-champions: Team GA National

2018 WWBA National Qualifier co-champions: Home Plate Chili Dogs Searcy

2018 WWBA National Qualifier MVP: Brian Port

2018 WWBA National Qualifier MV-Pitcher: Sam Stratton

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