Tournaments | Story | 6/24/2019

Offense powers Elite to semis

Annika Wall        
Photo: Austin Winslow (Perfect Game)

MARION, Iowa – It’s hard to beat a team once the bats start rolling. One hit is followed by another, and another, and the runs start piling up. That was exactly the case for Elite Baseball Training 2022 in their first game of WWBA 15u Prospect Meadows National Championship tournament play. Elite advanced to the semifinals after posting an 8-3 victory over Recruits Baseball Club.

“Our guys threw strikes [and] battled,” coach Brad Essig said. “We had some tough counts, but they worked hard and did a nice job.”

“I’m very happy with the work the team is doing,” coach Benito Roman added.

The Chicago, Ill.-based team got on the scoreboard first as Brandon Bak reached first on a four-ball walk, later advancing to second on a balk. Will Plattner continued his stellar effort at the plate with an RBI double. He later stole home plate to put Elite up 2-0. Plattner leads the tournament in hits with eight, including two doubles and a triple.

Recruits responded with two runs in the second before taking their first and only lead of the game with a one-run third inning. The top of Elite’s lineup responded, with Bak leading off with a single to center field. Cole Green followed with a single of his own before Plattner reached on an error, scoring Bak and Green.

Elite added a single run in the fifth before breaking the game wide open in the sixth. In that inning alone, Elite had four of their eight hits, scoring three runs.

“[It was] the willingness to continue to compete and put the bat on the ball,” Essig said. “They did a good job.”

Colin Lewandowski led the team with two hits, one of which was a double. Plattner had a team-high three RBIs, while Bak scored two runs.

Austin Winslow and Connor Corrigan split time on the mound. Corrigan pitched a gem, only allowing one hit while striking out four Recruits.

Elite will face Sticks Baseball Academy in the semifinals on Tusday. While Sticks came away with the win in pool play, Elite knows what they have to do to advance to the championship.

“We need to be disciplined,” Essig said. “They’re a very good hitting team, a very well coached team, so if we can limit our mistakes and put the bat on the ball. We hope the ball bounces our way too.”

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