PG Series | PG Series Classic | 7/29/2019

North locks in 12u Series title

Autumn Jones        
Photo: North (Perfect Game)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The PG Series Classic staged exceptional talent throughout and particularly in the title game on a blazing Monday afternoon in Fort Myers, where most would be surprised that it was 12-year olds competing. North defeated Northeast in a matchup that didn’t see a single run scored until the fifth inning, fans in attendance would say it was one of the best baseball games they’ve seen. 

While both teams sat at the top of their pool, North went undefeated in the series and opened with back-to-back shutout victories. Evidently, they were considered the favorite in this matchup, but a slow start had everyone on their toes. Northeast was first on the boards in the top of the fifth with a run scored by Zach Fronio (2025, Annandale, N.J.), and then North would come around in the bottom to score three runs, which happened to be all that was necessary to secure a 3-1 win. 

“That was awesome,” said head coach Christian Martinez. “We always grind from the first game and I’m really proud of these kids. Especially considering we had only nine the whole time -we were free of injuries. It was great, great experience.” 

MV-Pitcher, Joseph Vaccarella (2025, Mickleton, N.J.) gave it his all on the mound in the finale allowing five hits and two walks while striking out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings. The primary righthander and first basemen had consistently performed at a high level this week to earn such an honor. Vaccarella got the start in the opener allowing just one hit while striking out six in just two innings. He also led the way offensively going 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Following soon after in the team’s second shutout of opening day, Vaccarella led the offense once again scoring a run and going 2-for-3 with a triple that time. 

“He started the first game for us and only threw 20 pitches and I knew from the get-go that he was going to be our ace,” said Martinez. “He averages around 75 mph and I decided to save him hoping we’d make it to the final and in the end that was the right move."

Bobby Herzman (2025, Cheshire, Conn.)  came in the game for North as a reliever and didn't allow a single hit or walk while striking out two batters in 1 1/3 innings. The primary righthander and first basemen also appeared on last year’s 11u PG Series Classic champions roster.

Teammates Tyler Hughesman (2024, Mooresville, N.C.), Aidan Moore (2025, Pilesgrove, N.J.) and Dylan McCafferty (Chalfont, Pa.) each scored North's three runs in the fifth; McCaffery also picked up two of the team's RBIs.

But it didn’t come easy for a lineup that was arranged in just five minutes. Coach Martinez, who is a Florida native, discusses the challenge the team faced through unfamiliar conditions and their fearless approach.

“I was honored to coach them,” added Martinez. “With the weather here it’s really hard to make a lineup, we had five minutes to do it. This is a great group of kids – very talented. I think we had great chemistry and I believe that was the key to win this.” 

The MVP for the tournament was earned by Luke Keefer (2024, North East, Md.) of Northeast. Keffer pitched a no-hitter in the semifinals and earned the shutout for Northeast by allowing just three walks and striking out a considerable 14 batters in his complete six-inning game. Along with his legitimate pitching effort, the primary shortstop and second basemen is versatile in his game and his wide skill-set proved why he won the same award just over two weeks ago in the 12u Northeast Summer Championships. 

2019 12u PG Series Classic runner-up: Northeast

2019 12u PG Series Classic MVP: Luke Keefer

2019 12u PG Series Classic MV-Pitcher: Joseph Vaccarella

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