Tournaments | Championship | 7/11/2019

Marucci Elite wins 11u PGWS

Jack Nelson        
Photo: Marucci Elite Texas 11u Nava (Perfect Game)

MARIETTA, Ga. – Thirty teams converged at Sun Trust Park last Saturday to commence the inaugural Perfect Game 11u World Series. After the pomp and circumstance of opening ceremonies, the top teams in the nation battled it out for five long days. By Thursday afternoon, one team was left unscathed, as Marucci Elite Texas Nava defeated the East Cobb Astros Orange, 10-2, to claim the first 11u PG World Series title.

The bats were hot early for Marucci Elite. Miles Young got the attack going with a single in the first, followed by another single from Anthony Del Angel. Cleanup hitter Anthony Zepeda kept the hit parade alive with yet another RBI single, which set the stage for Bryson Session to launch a three run home run over the centerfield fence.

The middle innings were fairly quiet, as the pitchers settled in nicely. Session was handed the ball for Marucci Elite, and he turned in 4 2/3 innings of 2 run ball. He struck out four and walked just one.

Session threw well, but he left the game with the bases loaded and Marucci Elite clinging to a 4-2 lead. Things looked dicey until Logan Johnson came out of the bullpen and got the dangerous Trevor Condon looking at a curveball to put out the fire.

From there, the Marucci bats came to life again and erupted for six runs to evoke the mercy rule. The big fifth inning was led by Bryce Morrison’s RBI single and a three RBI double from Del Angel that proved to be the dagger.

Overall, Marucci Elite went 9-0 and outscored their opponents 73-19. Collectively, they hit .393 and had a team ERA of 2.81. They had eight hitters hit over .400, including Morrison, Silas Newport, Del Angel, Session, Zepeda, Logan Shields, Travis Herrington, and Cash Allen.

Individually, they were led by tournament MVP Anthony Zepeda. Zepeda batted .450 with three home runs and added 10 RBIs.

The championship day at East Cobb provided a festive atmosphere for the top 11u talent in the country. Marucci coach Victor Nava was grateful for the advent of such an event, as it is exactly what his team had been craving. And the hungry team certainly made the most of their opportunity in Georgia. The boys will be taking home World Series rings as a reward.

“This has been great competition and a great environment for baseball,” Nava said. “The kids have been wanting to do something like this for the last couple years. I’m glad they had this kind of tournament in our age group.”

Nava was proud of how his team stuck together. Yes, Marucci had an impressive run differential, but there were a few close games mixed in. There were even a couple times when they were down big and could have gone away, such as in their quarterfinal game against APE Baseball. But they didn’t.  They fought back. Nava said that is what he will remember most about this special week.

“We’ve all been together since 7u,” he said. “The core group of our kids have been playing together for a couple years now. I think that helps. Its important to play together season after season and compete. We were down 5-0 against APE Baseball, but we kept battling and came out on top.”

“I hope they learned to overcome adversity,” he said. “That’s going to be so big now and later on in life. If they can just weather the storm, keep fighting, eventually good things will come your way.”

East Cobb’s Cade Sutton was named the most valuable pitcher. He went 3-0 over eight innings with a .88 ERA. He also had a .600 average at the plate.

2019 11u PG World Series runner-up: East Cobb Astros 11u Orange

2019 11u PG World Series MVP: Anthony Zepeda

2019 11u PG World Series MV-Pitcher: Cade Sutton

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