Tournaments | Story | 7/12/2019

GC Monarchs 12u land on top

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Gulf Coast Monarchs 12u (Perfect Game)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – On this day, nine was enough.

With the game having moved into the ninth inning and the bases-loaded, one-out tie-breaker rule to start each half-inning in effect, the Gulf Coast Monarchs 12u pushed across the winning run on a balk, of all things, and edged the Elite Squad National 12u, 3-2, in the championship game at the Perfect Game 12u BCS National Championship.

The title game, played on the youth-field side of the CenturyLink Sports Complex, was a dandy from start to finish, featuring outstanding starting pitching from Monarchs 12u’s 2024 right-hander Johnny King and Squad National 12u 2025 righty Talan Holiday.

“I knew going into it that it was going to be a pitching dual – those two guys have faced each other before,” GC Monarchs 12u head coach Aaron Lawson said postgame. “Early on in the game we had a couple of chances to score and we didn’t so I thought we had missed our window, but (the players) just kept fighting; that’s how they’ve been all year.”

The game was scoreless after seven but both teams broke through in the eighth before the tie-breaker rule was implemented. The Squad National 12u took advantage of a one-out double from Dayson Griffis, two hit batters and a walk to score in the top-half of the frame; the Monarchs 12u tied in the bottom half on a solo home run from Jackson Geiger.

Elite Squad National (6-1-0) used a fielder’s choice groundout from Dylan Passo to score a single run in the top of the ninth. The Gulf Coast Monarchs 12u (7-0-0) – based right here in Fort Myers – won it with a sacrifice fly from Jalen Foxx with runners also advancing to second and third, and then finally the balk.

King pitched 6 1/3 scoreless, three-hit innings for the Monarchs, striking out six and walking one. Holiday went 4 1/3 for the Squad without allowing a run on four hits, striking out eight and walking two. Griffiis, a 2025 righty, was pretty darn good himself pitching in relief of Holiday, throwing 4 1/3 innings and allowing one earned run – the Geiger home run – on four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

“I think we’re sitting at 84-8 on the season, so this has just been their MO – they never quit, never quit, never quit,” Lawson said of the Monarchs. “They know they’re good enough to come back or win or do whatever needed to be done. Credit to them.”

King and Holiday shared Most Valuable Pitcher honors for the event. Monarchs 12u 2025 shortstop and leadoff hitter Carter Smith was named the Most Valuable Player after going 7-for-19 (.368) with four home runs, a double, two singles, 11 RBI and eight runs scored.

“It was a great week,” Lawson said. “I know growing up that I never won a national championship so for them to have the opportunity to do that, it’s been amazing. I’m happy for them. They put a lot of work in and they deserve it.”

2019 12u BCS National Championship runner-up: Elite Squad National 12u

2019 12u BCS National Championship MVP: Carter Smith

2019 12u BCS National Championship co MV-Pitcher: Johnny King

2019 12u BCS National Championship co MV-Pitcher: Talan Holiday

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