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Tournaments | Story | 6/17/2021

18u BCS Begins Again In Fort Myers

Sam Warren        
Photo: Jace Jones (Perfect Game)
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As the summer season continues to roll on, competition will ramp up in Florida this weekend as Perfect Game is set to host the 2021 18u BCS National Championship. JetBlue Park and surrounding Fort Myers area ballparks will be home to 24 18u teams from across the country for the National Championship, spanning from June 18-22. As the teams make their pilgrimage to the Gulf Coast this weekend, they all have one goal in mind: taking home the illustrious BCS title.
 
The 18u tournament kicks off BCS season in Florida, as the state will host BCS National Championships for six more divisions later this month. This is the 16th annual 18u BCS Finals, as Perfect Game has held the tournament on the Gulf Coast since 2006. While the tournament mainly features players from the class of 2021, some of the nation’s top-ranked players in all classes will be showing off their skills this weekend.
 
Headlining this year’s field is reigning champion North East Baseball National. While last year’s field featured just 14 teams due to the looming pandemic, the Hudson, Mass.-based NEB dominated the competition, posting a +55 run differential on their way to a 7-1-1 record and a BCS title. While many of last year’s players have gone off to college ball, Dakota Stone and Mikey Jensen return as veterans to Florida this weekend, leading a new NEB squad behind their championship experience. Alongside Stone, the 108th-ranked player in the 2022 class and Jacksonville commit, and Jensen, a 2021 top-1000 player and Massachusetts commit, NEB brings on a flurry of top-ranked talent to the BCS. Newcomers include 2021 top-500 players Joey Spence (Notre Dame commit), Logan Maxwell (TCU commit), Jack Cebert (South Florida commit), Orlando Pena (Coastal Carolina commit) and Ty Batusich (Western Kentucky commit). NEB also plucks out Hunter Carns, the 101st-ranked player in the 2024 class, for their roster, finishing off a formidable squad in their attempt to reclaim their BCS throne.
 
Looking to overthrow NEB this weekend is another out-of-state squad, the SC Gamers. While the Gamers are based out of Belton, S.C., the squad has recruited the 42nd-ranked player in the 2022 class, Kassius Thomas, from across the country for the BCS. The Duke commit from Northridge, Calif., has touched 94 mph from the bump and looks to shut down opposing hitters down in Fort Myers. Accompanying Thomas is a bevy of top-500 talent, as 2021 players David Lewis (Clemson commit), Itai Spinoza (Elon commit), Clay Alberson and Tyler Overholt (College of Charleston commits), along with 2022 utility Drew Lanphere (North Carolina State commit) will help take on the challenge of stopping NEB’s repeat hopes. 
 
Representing the home state of Florida, the Florida Legends hopes to fend off the out-of-towners on their way to grabbing their first 18u BCS title. The Miramar-based squad features a whirlwind of South Florida talent, spearheaded by a foursome of Miami commits. Edgardo Villegas and Ariel Garcia are both top-500 players in the class of 2021 and will ship off to Coral Gables in the fall. Jason Torres, the 135th-ranked player in the class of 2022, will join the duo a year later. 2023 pitcher Brandon Olivera rounds out the quartet but is the highest-ranked of all, placing as the 43rd-ranked player in his class. Joining the Miami-bound boys are Florida State commit David Davila, who ranks 165th in the class of 2023, and top-500 ranked Abdriel Delgado (Jacksonville commit), Andrew Estrella (Stetson commit), Marcos Gamboa (Bethune-Cookman commit), Jesus Gonzalez (Florida International commit) and Jose Luis Torres (Marshall commit) as they fight to keep the BCS title in its home state.
 
Other top talent in this weekend’s BCS includes Siege 18u Scout Team’s Ashe Ammerian and Bryant Colon, as well as SWFL 18u’s Jace Jones, Harrison Povey, Logan Smith and Josiah Velazquez (all Florida Gulf Coast commits) along with Jake Mueller (Alabama commit) and Hayden Yost (Florida commit). Additionally, Florida International commits Juhlien Gonzalez and Sean Ambrose will suit up for GT Clowns National alongside Kyle Tako (Florida Gulf Coast commit), while TCU commit David Bishop will try to propel Nelson Baseball School to a BCS title.
 
Each team is guaranteed to play six games, with pool play beginning at 8 AM Friday morning. Playoffs will begin Sunday morning, with the championship game likely played Monday afternoon.
 
For additional information about this weekend’s tournament, please visit the event page.
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