Tournaments | Story | 6/24/2019

Super25 15u GA Qualifier Champs

Cory Van Dyke        
Photo: 643 DP Cougars 15U Montgomery (Perfect Game)
DUNWOODY, Ga. -- Same jerseys. Same organization. One finalist. And one champion. That was the case in the championship at the 2019 PG Super25 15u Georgia Super Qualifier championship when two teams from the 643 DP program squared off against each other.

In the end, 643 DP Cougars 15u Montgomery defeated 643 DP Tigers 15u Bishop 4-2  to capture the tite.

“It’s always special,” Cougars head coach Nelson Pedraza said. “When we put teams together, one thing we do at 643 is we practice together and we get to know each other as a team and as a family. We become a family. It’s really a good internal competition when it gets to meeting in the championship together and playing a game against each other.”

For the Cougars, their path to the championship had to run through the Georgia Jackets 14u National team in the semifinals. 

Andruw Jones put the Cougars on the board in the top of the first with a line drive home run to opposite field. Later in the fourth inning trailing 4-2, Casual Kay found himself in an 0-2 hole with runners on first and second. However, he didn’t let the next 0-2 pitch beat him and deposited it over the fence for a go-ahead three-run home run.

“I was down in the count,” Kay said. “So I just choked up to try to get the ball in play and get some runs in.”

The Cougars added another run in the fifth and two runs of insurance in the seventh to hold on to the 8-6 win and set up the all-643 final.

“I have to tip my hat to the Jackets pitcher, he was pretty good,” Pedraza said. “He dominated the whole part of the lineup except for Casual and Druw. It was pretty special to see them hit against good pitching. It was pretty good that we were able to compete.”

In the championship, the Cougars struck first in a big way in the bottom of the third. Reginald Austin sent a shot into the gap, scoring two runs on the double. The next batter Davis Hodges followed suit and doubled home two runs of his own.

The four runs were all starting pitcher Carter Davies needed. Davies mowed down the Tigers lineup, tossing six innings and allowing just one run (none earned), three hits, two walks, and striking out four en route to the win over his friends. Davies was named MV-Pitcher of the tournament.

“I was using the fastball to get ahead early,” Davies said. “Locating curveball really well.

“It’s really fun because I played with a couple of those kids for many years in a row. It’s fun to get together and have a friendly competition, but at the same time competing and trying to do as well as we can.”

As was the case in the semifinals, the middle of the lineup with Jones and Kay carried the Cougars for much of the week. Kay led the tournament with 11 RBIs while batting cleanup. Meanwhile, Jones led the tournament with eight hits over the week, including a 2-for-3 performance in the championship to earn MVP honors.

It was a simple message from Pedraza that kept Jones and Co. going all week.

“Coach tells us to treat every game like it’s a WWBA elimination game,” Jones said. “Because if you lose one game you might not have the chance to advance in the bracket. We just have to play hard every day.”

643 DP Cougars 15u Montgomery is hitting its stride at exactly the right time. The Cougars have now won two Perfect Game tournaments in a row, and will compete in the 16u Firecracker Finale in just a few days before the upcoming 16u and 15u WWBA National Championships in July.

This time now in June where team chemistry is being built is leading to the culmination of all the hard work for the grand finale at the end of the summer in July.

“Mentally and confidence wise it prepares you for that,” Pedraza said. “We usually play up in 16’s in preparation for those big tournaments.”

“It’s a special team. It’s special once they come together and play together as a team.”

2019 PG Super25 15U Georgia Super Qualifier Finalist: 643 DP Tigers 15u Bishop

2019 PG Super25 15U Georgia Super Qualifier MVP: Andruw Jones

2019 PG Super25 15U Georgia Super Qualifier MVP: Carter Davies

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