Tournaments | Championship | 10/19/2020

Canes Go Perfect, Win WWBA 14u

Jheremy Brown        
Photo: Canes 2025 National (Perfect Game)
Panama City, Fla. – The only thing more perfect than the weather throughout the weekend was the level of competition across the Panama City Beach Sports Complex as it played host to the second annual WWBA 14u World Championship. In a championship game that saw the No. 5 seeded Canes 2025 National club play host to the No. 15 Team Orlando 14u, the Canes ultimately came out on top thanks to a spectacular pitching performance from California native Noah Franco.

Big time pitching performances and timing hitting were commonplace for both squads as Team Orlando had to play an extra playoff game just to enter the bracket from which they rode the momentum to knock off the No. 2 and No. 7 seeds in the tournament. The MV-Pitcher of the event, righthander Patton Pinkins, delivered a gem in the quarter finals as he tossed a complete game, one-hit shutout in which he struck out 11, setting the tone for Isaac Padilla. Padilla, a right-hander, went the distance in his own complete game shutout and needed just 77 pitches to do so, striking out 7 without issuing a single walk. On the weekend, the club went 6-2, with both losses coming to the Canes (once in pool play), but showed they could stack up against anybody in the tournament with timely hitting and the execution of getting the job done in the big moment. 

As for the Canes, they went unscathed throughout the tournament, going a perfect 7-0 while outscoring their opponents 16-6 in their four game run and like Team Orlando, got some big time pitching performances and some next level defense in route to hoisting the trophy. Left-hander Gunner Alm filled up the strike zone as he went 6.2 innings in their second round win, an outing length David Shields would match in the quarter finals as got through 6.2 innings prior to reaching his pitch count limit. The bullpen continued to stay dormant as right-hander Ryan Stover turned in a dominant complete game effort, allowing just one run against a tough BPA offense, striking out 7. Mentioned above, young left-hander Noah Franco carried the ball deep once again as he threw six dominant innings before giving way to Riley Williams who completed the shutout effort. 

On Field 2 with the game being live streamed on PerfectGame.TV, the Canes jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first as tournament MVP Everett Johnson singled through the right side, stole both second and third base, and came around to plate the first run of the game on a Riley Williams sacrifice fly. After a walk behind Johnson’s single, Drake Della Ratta came around to score on a passed ball, adding to a lead which the Canes wouldn’t relinquish. Jump to the second inning and the Canes were adding to their lead as Noah Franco and Andrew Costello connected for back-to-back singles before both coming around to score on a Andrew Freeman line drive single to center field. 

After the first two innings Team Orlando starter Austin Musgrove settled in and put up zeros on the scoreboard for the next four frames, a number the Canes pitchers would match as both clubs brought the opposing offenses to a halt. The theme of both club’s paths continued as both teams filled the strike zone, pitched to contact and made the little plays, making for quick innings and limited offense, combining for just three hits following the second inning.

Following a sliding play to the his left, shortstop Coy James quickly popped to his feet and delivered a strike across the diamond to cement an impressive performance from the Canes 2025 National club, raising the trophy as WWBA 14u World Champions. 

Tournament MV-Pitcher Patton Pinkins was crucial in his team’s run as he ended up throwing 10.1 innings, allowed just one hit and struck out 13 without issuing a walk.

Everett Johnson, the MVP of the event, was a catalyst both at the top of the lineup where his footspeed made things happen both on the bases as well as in center field. His catch in the quarter finals against the Louisiana Knights was a game changer, taking away easy extra bases and potential an inside the park home run. 
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