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Tournaments | Championship | 7/26/2020

Canes Outlast East Coast Sox for WWBA Title

Brett Greenberg        
Photo: Canes American (Perfect Game)
MARIETTA, Ga. – After four-and-a-half grueling hours of baseball between the Canes American 17U and the East Coast Sox 17U Founders Club, a champion was finally crowned. The Canes ultimately came out with a 10-9 victory and were labeled the 2020 17U WWBA National Champions. The Canes organization based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia, is celebrating their second WWBA championship in as many weeks as the 16U National team was crowned champions last week.

This week’s tournament field consisted of over 240 teams from around the country all competing for a chance to win a championship. The Canes, obviously, were the last team standing and finished the week with a 10-0-1 record. They would have swept the field if it were not for a 6-6 tie in one of their pool play games, and finished pool play with 39 runs scored while allowing 11. This netted them the #24 seed.

The Canes were able to take care of their first bracket opponent behind starting pitcher, Garrett Moffett, and his 4 innings of work while tallying 10 strikeouts in route to a 4-2 victory. In their second bracket game, the Canes showed heart and fight coming back from being down two runs to win by a score of 4-2. In the top of the seventh inning, Daniel Brooks, came up with a clutch two-out double scoring Alex Kahn and Elijah Lambros. They were powered by Rowan Watt who went 2 for 4 with 1 double and 2 runs scored in their third bracket game. In the quarterfinals, they took care of business with an 8-2 victory. The semifinal game presented the Canes with a real test facing off against a talented Team Elite Scout Team. The game featured five lead changes and ultimately was decided on a passed ball. They rallied back after giving up the lead in the top of the seventh by scoring three runs which ultimately propelled them to the championship game by a score of 8-7.

The championship game against the East Coast Sox started off with the Canes down by three runs after the first inning. Matthew Polk, Anthony Migliaccio, and Aaron Downs all doubled scoring the three runs. The top of the second welcomed new Canes’ pitcher, Nick Moore, who shut down the East Coast batters for two innings. Despite being down by three runs, the Canes continued to fight and answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second. Lonnie White, the tournament MVP, got it started with a stand-up double and came around to score after Daniel Brooks singled. The Canes kept the momentum going in the bottom of the third scoring two more runs to tie the game 3-3 after three. Travis Sanders singled and moved to second base on a throwing error. Rowan Watt continued his week-long performance with an RBI single cutting the lead to one run. With a man on second and third and no outs, Alex Kahn hit a routine fly ball to left field, which was dropped scoring another run.

The fourth inning was delayed roughly forty-five minutes after a nearby lightning strike, but that did not stop either team from scoring. An offensive deluge by both teams left the score 7-6 in favor of the Sox after four. After the East Coast Sox scored four runs in the top of the fourth, the Canes hung in there as Jacob Friend tripled and scored on a wild pitch for their first run of the inning. Back to back walks put two men on for Alex Kahn who hit a deep line drive for a double scoring Rowan Watt and JD Suarez.

The top of the fifth welcomed new Canes pitcher, Ashton Smith, who was able to keep the Sox batters from scoring. The Canes kept up their onslaught scoring three more runs making the score 9-7 in their favor. Lonnie White once again got the inning started with a single and came around to third after a single by Daniel Brooks. Brooks was able to get to second on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch on ball four allowed White to score and put two men on. Another walk loaded the bases, and a run came in to score on another wild pitch. The two walks scored two runs for the Canes giving them a one run lead. Rowan Watt hit a ball deep enough to score Bryan Arendt on a sacrifice fly, which extended their lead to two.

The East Coast Sox would not go away in the top of the sixth, tying the game at 9-9. Matthew Polk took advantage of a fastball over the plate and belted the ball for a two-run bomb scoring Jordan McCants. The Canes had nothing to show for it in the bottom half of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh in a tie ball game, the Canes turned to Alex Kahn to keep the game tied giving his team a chance for the walk off championship victory. Kahn shut out the Sox giving the Canes their golden opportunity. Travis Sanders led off the bottom half of the seventh with a single and then moved to second after JD Suarez hit a hard ground ball beating the throw for a base hit. With two men on, the Canes coaches called for a double steal, which led to an obstruction by the Sox third basemen, allowing Sanders to score the winning run and securing the WWBA National Championship. The final score being 10-9.

The Canes American 17U are the 2020 PG 17U WWBA National Champions.

Head Coach of the Canes, Coach Tom Willoughby had this to say about his team’s performance and success:

“I am so excited for these guys and the Canes organization. We have so much program depth with our 16U and 17U kids that it makes it easier to field rosters and have pitching depth in these kinds of tournaments. We focus on getting players who are high-level baseball players, but at the same time, players who have great character and I think that was evident this week with all the come from behind victories and rallying we did as a team.”

Lonnie White, of the Canes, was awarded the tournament MVP this week completing the tournament with a .444 batting average, 6 doubles, 1 home run, 10 runs scored, 6 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.

Brayden Jones, of the East Coast Sox, was awarded the tournament MVPitcher this week with 11 innings pitched, 11 strikeouts, 0 earned runs and a 0.55 WHIP.

This marks the ending of the WWBA National Championship tournaments this summer. Perfect Game will be hosting the PG Southeast Select Championship from July 24-27 and the PG Southeast Elite Championship from July 28-August 1.
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