Tournaments | Story | 6/1/2021

6 champs fitted for crowns at WMDC

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: AZ T-Rex Easton BBC (Perfect Game)

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Six champions in the 13u through 18u PG WWBA West Memorial Day Classic age divisions were crowned on Monday after a full day of play at the Goodyear Ballpark Spring Training Complex, the Cactus League home of the Indians and Reds. What follows is a recap of championship Monday, a day that featured the powerhouse Phoenix-based T-Rex Baseball program flexing its muscles with two championships and one runner-up finish.

AZ T-Rex Easton BBC finishes on top at 16u

After fighting tooth-and-nail just to put themselves in this position, the AZ T-Rex Easton BBC doused the drama early in the 16u WMDC championship game.

Following a scoreless first inning, AZ T-Rex erupted for eight runs in the top of the second and cruised to a 10-0, five-inning victory over the SGV Arsenal to claim the championship in front  of a large gathering of fans supporting both teams.

“That always helps when you get some early runs in the championship game,” T-Rex program founder and Easton BBC head coach Rex Gonzalez said postgame. “It kind of lets you relax a little bit, especially after playing two [games] already and this being the third game.”

The Phoenix-based Easton BBC saw their bats come alive in the win with seven batters collecting at least one hit as part of a 10-hit barrage. Alfredo Ruiz and Brady Evans both contributed a pair of singles, two RBI and a run scored apiece; Ty Borowski also singled twice, drove in a run and scored another; and David Galindo doubled and drove in a pair.

Bobby Lenhard, a 2023 left-hander, worked all five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits without a strikeout, letting his defense do the job behind him.

The championship run was especially notable because the AZ T-Rex Easton BBC (5-1-0) dropped their pool-play opener on Friday and got into the eight-team playoffs as the No. 8 seed after winning the pool championship on tie-breaker criteria.

Once in, it was Katie-bar-the-door. On Monday alone they knocked-off the No. 1-seeded Canes Arizona 2023 Gold, 4-0, in the quarters before dispatching the No. 5 Scottsdale Dirtbags 2023 Chavez, 10-8, in the semis; The Azusa, Calif.-based SGV Arsenal (5-1-0) were the No. 2 seed.

“I’m really proud of the way they responded,” Gonzalez said. “Coming out from the 8 seed and having to play as visitors the whole day, we knew our backs were against the wall. The kids responded well with timely hitting, great bunts when we needed them and very good pitching.”

Borowski, a ’23 catcher/corner-infielder, was named the tournament MVP after hitting 11-for-17 (.647) with 11 singles, 10 RBI and four runs scored to go with a dazzling .727 OBP. AZ T-Rex ’23 right-hander Marco Pacheco threw eight four-hit shutout innings, striking out seven and walking one, in two appearances and was named the MV-Pitcher.

The atmosphere on both ends of the Goodyear complex was outstanding on Monday, with friends and family members flocking to the fields to catch some live action after being deprived of the PG WWBA WMDC in 2020. Parking was even hard to come by along the long road that links the Indians and Reds spring training venues.

“It was a great weekend; I love playing in this tournament every year,” Gonzalez said. “It kind of gets the ball rolling for what’s coming up during a very long, hot summer...

“PG, as always, is first-class in putting on a great event," he added. "That’s the reason we love to play in Perfect Game events. As always, they bring in some of the best teams around and it’s always exciting to play good competition.”

AZ T-Rex takes top spot in 17u with 2022 team

None of the four teams that occupied a line in Monday’s final four bracket at the 17u WMDC suffered a loss during pool play. But none of the four were perfect, either, as every one of them settled for a tie on their way to pool championships.

That was how the sailing went all weekend in the 17u tournament and the wackiness continued right into the championship game where the AZ T-Rex 2022 were able to outlast the Tucson Champs, 8-4, and claim the program’s second WMDC title of the day.

The T-Rexers enjoyed a 5-0 lead after four innings of play but saw that cut to 5-4 when the Champs pushed across a pair of runs in both the fifth and the sixth; T-Rex rallied for three of its own in the bottom half of the sixth to preserve the victory.

The No. 1-seeded T-Rex 2022 finished the tournament with a 4-0-1 mark while the No. 3 Champs, who had to win a first-round game Monday morning just to get into the semifinals, wrapped up their stay here at 4-1-1.

AZ T-Rex totaled 14 hits in the victory and four batters contributed two hits apiece. Thomas Dechesaro, the No. 10 hitter in the 2022s order in this game, stroked a pair of doubles and knocked in a pair of runs and and scored two others in a standout performance. Dechesaro, a 2022 right-hander, tossed 5 1/3  very effective first-four innings; he was removed in the sixth after allowing the four runs on five hits with six strikeouts.

Easton Talt tripled, singled, drove in two runs and scored one for AZ T-Rex, while Ethan Tinsley and AJ Singer each singled twice and drove in a run.

The Champs were led by Demetrio Crisantes, who tripled and finished with two RBI; Caleb Herd doubled, singled and drove in a run.

The Arizonan Cristantes, a 2022 top-500 middle infielder and a New Mexico State commit, was good all weekend. He finished 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, the one triple, six RBI and seven runs scored and was named the MVP. AZ T-Rex 2022’s Joseph Perez, a right-hander from Arizona, threw a seven-inning complete-game, one-hit, 13-strikeout shutout and was named the MV-Pitcher.

New Level College Prep takes 18u title in battle of Seattle

What better place to settle a little backyard brawl from the state of Washington other than in the west Phoenix suburbs? Really, just how perfect is that.

No. 1-seeded New Level College Prep (5-0-0) out of Puyallup, Wash., used a four-run fourth as a launching pad and went on to beat its Seattle neighbor, the No. 2-seeded Washington Rush (4-1-0), 6-1, in the championship game of the 18u WMDC.

Drake Anderson, a 2021 infielder and top-500 Washington State signee, was a one-man wrecking crew for NLCP, delivering a base-clearing three-run triple in the bottom of the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth to lead a seven-hit attack.

New Level’s Jacob Yang and Jeramiah Crain each contributed RBI singles to the winning effort. 2022 right-hander Ryan Orr, a Washington State commit ranked No. 308 nationally, worked 5 2/3 four-hit, one-run innings, striking out three. Jacob Gabler doubled and drove in a run to pace the Rush, who finished with five hits.

The Rush’s Dominic Hellman, a 2022 shortstop and an Oregon commit ranked No. 31 nationally, was named the MVP; he went 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored.

NLCP 2021 left-hander Davis Buckner earned MV-Pitcher recognition after pitching seven one-hit shutout innings over two appearances, striking out 12.

Scottsdale Dirtbags ’24 Black claim 15u championship

The Scottsdale Dirtbags 2024 Black were really good all weekend at the 15u WMDC, good enough to earn the playoffs’ No. 1 seed. The AZ T-Rex 2024 were also pretty good over the first three days of play, good enough to earn the No. 2 seed despite a pool play loss.

In the end, the Dirtbags came out on top of a wild 15u championship game mostly because they had the dynamic Chris Newstrom on their side.

Newstrom singled three times and drove in three runs to lead a 13-hit effort and help lift the Dirtbags 2024 past the T-Rex 2024, 10-6, in Monday’s championship game.

Scottsdale (6-0-0) led this one 4-0 after two, 4-2 after four and 6-2 after five, only to watch AZ T-Rex (4-2-0) knot the score with a four-run top of the sixth. The Dirtbags response? How about a four-run sixth of their own that carried them to the win.

Gavin Short (2 singles, 2 RBI, 1 run), Hustyn Wheeler (2 singles, 2 runs) and Kyle Pettigrew (2 singles, 1 RBI) gave Newstrom the support he needed as part of a 13-hit attack. The AZ T-Rex 2024 knocked out seven hits of their own with Palmer Coop and Sammy McCaughey both contributing a single, double and two RBI.

Newstrom, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound shortstop/catcher is a bit of a freak, and that’s meant as an ultimate compliment. Ranked No. 12 overall in the class of 2024, the 15-year-old Phoenix resident is an Arizona State commit who performed at both the 2019 PG 13u Select Festival and the 2020 PG 14u Select Fest.

He was 10-for-18 (.556) with two doubles, two triples, eight RBI, nine runs scored and five stolen bases in the Dirtbags six games this weekend and, obviously, earned MVP recognition.

Dirtbags 2024 Black ’24 right-hander Reece Van Devander was named MVPitcher after working five innings of two-hit, shutout ball with seven strikeouts.


GBG Red romps to championship in 14u stunner

As the No. 2 seed in the 14u WMDC playoffs, no one needed to be convinced that the GBG Vegas Red were a pretty darn good baseball team. But 15 runs better than a No. 1-seeded Trosky National 2025 squad that had been so dominant throughout the weekend of play? It’s safe to say no one saw this coming.

The Las Vegas-based GBG Vegas Red (6-0-0) turned San Jose-based Trosky National 2025 (5-1-0) inside-out, upside down and every which-way but loose in a 16-1, five-inning butt-kicking that left observers on both sides of the field shaking their heads in disbelief.

There was a hint that the National 2025s might be vulnerable – even after outscoring their three pool play opponents by a combined 23-2 – when they had to eke-out a 10-9 win over BPA National 2025 in Monday morning’s quarterfinal. But this was a stunner.

GBG Vegas Red pounced for three runs in each of the first, second and fourth innings and then put the hammer down with a seven-run fifth to seal the deal. Any questions?

Five Reds collected multiple hits and four drove in multiple runs during the onslaught. Jase DeSantis was particularly effective with a triple, single, three RBI and two runs scored; a 2025 right-hander, he also delivered five one-run, two-hit innings in picking up the win.

Tanner Johns doubled, singled twice, drove in a run and scored two others; Lucas Sideco singled three times and drove in a run, Kekoa Young went 2-2-2 in the singles-RBI-runs stat line; Brady Ebel came through with a pair of safeties, an RBI and two runs scored; Tyler Wick had a single and three RBI, Noa Oyadomari a single and two RBI. It was pure craziness.

About the only highlight from the Trosky National 2025 camp was a single and an RBI from Quinten Marsh.

Johns, a 2025 first baseman, was 10-for-17 (.588) with two doubles, three triples, nine RBI and seven runs and was named the MVP; Ebel, a ’25 right-hander, pitched seven innings of four-hit, nine strikeout ball with one walk and was the MV-Pitcher.

Chandler Stars claim 13u title

Ryan Harwood rapped a one-out, RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie that lifted the No. 1-seeded Chandler Stars to a 2-1 win over the No. 3 Cali Canes Elite in the 13u WMDC championship game.

Harwood, a 2026 right-hander, also pitched 4 1/3 one-run innings, allowing three hits and striking out three. Austin Smith singled and drove in the Stars other run.

Lincoln Hunt had an RBI single for the Canes Elite and Cam Gordon, a ’26 right-hander, threw 4 1/3 innings of shutout, two-hit ball.

The Stars Ethan Trahan was named the MVP after a weekend in which he went 7-for-9 (.778) with a pair of doubles, five RBI, five runs scored and four stolen bases. Canes Elite 2026 righty Aiden Jahng made two appearances and threw 11 1/3 shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven and was named the MV-Pitcher.

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