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Tournaments | Championship | 6/19/2020

East Cobb Astros Stay Hot this Summer

Colton Olinger        
Photo: East Cobb Astros (Perfect Game)
HOOVER, Ala. - The inaugural 16U Elite Championship saw some of the top 16U teams in the country make their way to Hoover, Alabama with one goal in mind, taking home a tittle. Of the 44 teams that showed up East Cobb Astros 16U Texas Orange and Five Star National 16U Burress made it through to the championship game.

Five Star advanced to the championship by way of defeating Elite Squad Gulf Coast 3-2 in their semi-final game. They were led by a quality outing from Sullivan Brackin as the future Florida Gator went five innings allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out six. Partic Menk came on in relief to get the final six outs and pick up the save. Offensively right fielder Davis Green led the way with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. 

The East Cobb Astros had to battle through a tough Tri-State Arsenal 2022 Scout Team in their semi-final game. Mississippi State commit Dylan Cupp got things going for the Astros in the first inning as he turned around a 92 mph fastball for a two RBI single to center field. On the mound Florida commit Cade Fisher, only two weeks back from ACL surgery gave the Astros five solid innings mixing his mid 80’s fastball and sweeping breaking ball to collect five strikeouts. In a back and forth game though, it took an inside the park home run from Cupp in the seventh inning to tie the game up at seven and send it into extra innings. After Tri-State put up three runs in the top of the 10th inning with the tie breaker rules in effect the Astros answered back with four of their own. After a bases loaded walk brought home the first run, South Carolina commit Thaddeus Ector plated two more with a double to the right center field gap. With the game now tied back up, Dylan Lesko walked the game off with a deep sacrifice fly to center field and secured East Cobb their place in the championship game.

Much like the East Cobb semi-final game the championship game was back and forth throughout, with East Cobb jumping out to a one nothing lead in the first, only to see Five Star take the lead in the second inning with two runs of their own. East Cobb answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second and tied the game at two. Each team got quality innings out of their starting pitchers. East Cobb starter Jordan Fricks went five innings allowing three runs on four hits. Five Star went with Lane Essary, an Eastern Carolina commit who gave them five innings only allowing two runs on four hits. In the fourth inning Five Star took the lead as Blaydon Plain led the inning off with a walk and Tanner Zellem doubled to set up second and third with no outs. Carlos Elian Martinez would then pick up an RBI on a ground out to second base making the score 3-2. In the sixth inning with his team still up 3-2 Martinez would drive in another run with a single through the left side pushing the Five Star lead to 4-2. East Cobb was not done yet though. In the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and third and down to their final out East Cobb lead off man Chandler Pollard singled to drive in a run and make the score 4-3. Next up with runners now on second and third and still two outs, Thaddeus Ector came through in the clutch once again. This time delivering the game winning single to drive in two runs and earn the Astros the tittle of inaugural 16U Elite National Championship champions. 

Thaddeus Ector tournament MVP finished the tournament hitting .400 with eight RBI and an OPS of 1.128. His teammate Dylan Lesko earned tournament MVPitcher with his masterful five inning, 54 pitch perfect game in the quarterfinals. 
 
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