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Tournaments | Championship | 7/6/2020

BPA Goes the Distance at 13u Elite

Colton Olinger        
Photo: BPA (Perfect Game)
HOOVER, Ala. - As the National Elite Championships tournament series in Hoover, Alabama comes to a wrap the 13u age group came to town. The 13U National Elite Championships saw 35 team bring some of the top 13u players in the country to compete to be crowned the first ever 13U National Elite Champions. After three days of play BPA and Five Star 13u National Haynes made their way to the championship game.

In the first semi-final BPA squared off against Traction Canes 13U Black. This game featured a pair of Team USA National alumni in Konnor Griffin for BPA and John Ruckert for Traction Canes 13U Black. Griffin the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher got the ball on the mound for BPA and went the distance giving his team five innings of work allowing only three hits, one run, and struck out five while running his fast ball up to 81 mph. After posting a three up, three down inning in the top of the first Slade Caldwell tournament MVP got the BPA bats going with a lead off inside the park home run to give his team an early 1-0 lead. BPA would add on from there with a Reagan McCluskey double driving in another run. Christian Doty would then come up with line drive double to center field driving in McCluskey and stretching the BPA lead to 3-0. After taking the lead Griffin would pick right up where he left off pounding the strike zone and retiring the Canes in order again. BPA would go on to add another run in the second inning and explode for four more in the fourth inning to take a 9-1 lead. In the top of the fifth Griffin came out to close out the ball game and recorded the final out with a line drive to second base.

In the second semi-final of the day Five Star 13U National Haynes was matched up against Georgia Academy Power 13U Fussell in a game that saw the runs come in bunches. Georgia Academy Power put up four runs in the top half of the first inning as leadoff man Jackson Stanley singled and would later come around to score on a Jackson Bradfield triple to right field. After Georgia Academy had done their damage in the top half of the inning Five Star would answer back in a big way. The bottom of the first saw John Davis lead off with a triple two center field and that seemed to be all the Five Start lineup needed as they would send 17 hitters to the plate in the first inning and hang 13 runs on the board. The Five Star lineup saw big days from John Davis with two hits and two RBI, as well as Mason Moore who collected two hits both of which were doubles and two RBI. In the second inning Five Star answered Georgia Academy’s run in the top of the inning with three more of their own to make the score now 16-5. Joseph Forehand came on in relief of Mason Moore in the third inning and got the next nine outs allowing no runs, on one hit. The 16-5 final in favor of Five Star set up the championship game between BPA and Five Star 13U National Haynes.

Much like the semi-final games for these two teams, the offenses were not going to be denied. Once John Davis led the game off with a walk the Five Star line up was rolling and the best you can hope to do is slow it down. Garrett Keene would drive in the first run with a ground ball through the 5-6 hole. After Five Star put three runs up in the first inning BPA answered back with three runs of their own to tie the ball game up at three apiece. After some back and forth runs were exchanged each team was battling to keep any more runs from going on the board. In the bottom of the fifth with the game tied at seven, Brandon De Goti would drive in a run and then get driven in himself when Reagan Samples singled to right field. After Slade Caldwell went 4.2 innings of trying to keep the Five Star bats at bay, BPA turned the ball over to Samples who would go on to get the last seven out and secure BPA’s spot as the first ever 13U National Elite champions. 
 
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