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Tournaments | Story | 6/12/2021

Bombers Have Big Plans For Summer

Matthew Welsh        
Photo: Riley Stanford (Perfect Game)
ATLANTA, Ga. -- Georgia Bombers 17u Marucci is one week removed from its Perfect Game championship at the Southeast Elite Championship in Atlanta, Ga., and the team is showing no signs of slowing down their title pursuits. 
 
Dating back to September of 2020, the Bombers have amassed a 19-5 record, that’s 18-5 against all non-classified teams, and in their exploits last weekend, ousted both the East Cobb Astros and Team Elite, two nationally highly-ranked teams.
 
When watching the Bombers, it’s easy to tell that every pitch, at-bat and base are given the team’s undivided attention. Their pitchers dissect the strike zone in an almost mechanical manner. Every ball put in play seems to be off of the barrel. And every baserunner establishes a dominant presence in the opposing pitcher’s mind. 
 
On that foundation, the Bombers have willingly and uniquely established themselves as one of the country’s top powers.
 
“For me it’s the energy," said outfielder Riley Stanford. “We always come with energy to the game, and with that a lot of good things tend to happen.”
 
Stanford, the team’s highest-rated talent and the No. 18-ranked player in the 2022 class, is a physical presence in the box, standing at 6-foot-4,’ 225 pounds, Riley, a leader on the squad, will be taking his talents to Georgia Tech next fall, but he is not the only player on the team with a spot at the next level.
 
The Bombers have 19 total players ranked in the nation’s top-500 and another four ranked within the top-1000. Only a select few other clubs are able to field such a talented roster, and the Bombers are quick to establish their advantage.
 
Thirteen of those aforementioned ranked players have already committed to a Division-I program, with more certain to come. Yet in that level of competition, Stanford and his teammates still stress an importance on accountability. 
 
“We just stay locked in every day and don’t let a pitch go by without having the right mentality,” said fellow outfielder Parker Brosius. “Really, it’s just important that everyone knows what their job is and does their part, I think. Situation from situation, like with a runner on third and less than two [outs], we get him in any way you can.”
 
Brosius and Stanford comprise a quartet of Atlanta-bound Georgia Tech commits on the team, which also includes right-handed pitcher Logan Bogue and right-handed pitcher Caden Gaudette. All four of these names reside on the top-500. 
 
Other top Bombers bound for college include left-handed pitcher Brett Barfield (No. 324, Florida State commit), shortstop Eric Snow (No. 365, uncommitted), outfielder De'yon Cannon (top-500, East Tennessee State commit) and first baseman Max Puckett (top-500, Mercer commit). Together, these prospects have already accumulated a 2021 pedigree worthy of national attention, the latest accolades being last weekend’s title. 
 
“It feels great, I mean I love seeing all of this good competition,” Stanford said. “It really just makes you better. Coming off of a big win like that, and going 6-0 in the [last] tournament, pitching the way we did, hitting the ball the way we did, and then having the defense that we have, we are just rolling, and we won’t stop.”
 
That fire, unaffected by the regional rain showers that the Atlanta area has seen this weekend, will undoubtedly continue into the later games of the current tournament and later months of the season. The Bombers are poised to have several additional chances to battle top teams for supremacy. 
 
“There’s always that little rivalry between us and the other really good teams, just to see who is the best, and it felt really good to get that win,” Brosius said of his team’s accomplishment.
 
The Bombers’ following competitions include the Perfect Game National Elite Championship in Hoover, Ala. and both the 17u and 18u WWBA Championships in Atlanta. And after their 8-0 win on Friday, the Bombers are one win away from securing a consecutive bracket play berth in the Battle of the Southeast. 
 
When asked if the team has any specific goals this summer, Stanford answered quickly. 
 
“We want to win the WWBA,” Stanford said. “We want to be on top.”
 
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