Tournaments | Story | 7/21/2021

Chi Town Takes Top Spot at 18u World Series

Perfect Game Staff        
Photo: Chi Town Cream (Perfect Game)
HOOVER, Ala. -- The 2021 PG 18U World Series brought some of the best 18U teams in the country to Hoover, Ala. and featured an array of elite college prospects. The tournament consisted of 38 teams from around the country, but by the third day, Chi Town Cream had proven to be the best of the bunch.
In their semifinal matchup, Chi Town Cream got on the board first thanks to CJ Dean, who reached home off an error. Jake Larson soon followed thanks to a ground ball by Zane Kelly, giving Chi Town a 2-0 lead heading into the third inning. The EBC offense didn’t seem to have an answer for Carson Estridge, who proved to all in attendance why he is rated as one of the best prospects in the country. The West Virginia commit had an outstanding outing on the mound, seemingly picking apart the opposing offense with ease and keeping the momentum with Chi Town.
In the bottom of the fifth, Chi Town would launch an offensive barrage to run away with the ballgame. Dean continued his stellar offensive performance and drove in Gehrig Wright off a ground ball to left field. Kelly and Xavier Solla would also score, bringing the Chi Town lead 5-0. EBC desperately needed a response on offense, but Carson Estridge and the defense proved to be too much to overcome. Estridge pitched a shutout victory and finished the day with seven strikeouts.
Chi Town started the championship game against Neb National at the plate and appeared to pick up right where they left off, firing on all cylinders and coming out of the gate hot. Raoul Fabian got the offense rolling with a two-RBI single that brought in Bryan Rincon and Steven Sanderson for the first runs of the game. Fabian would score himself off a ground ball by Larson to give Chi Town a 3-0 lead early.

Neb National wasted no time responding on offense, however. Elijah Dukes stepped up to the plate and launched a ball deep over the right field wall, putting his team on the board and cutting the deficit 3-1.
From there, both teams stood their ground on defense, giving the opposing offenses little room to breathe. The game would turn into a defensive battle with excellent pitching from both sides. Heading into the fifth inning, Chi Town had a 4-2 lead and seemed determined to increase their lead. Rincon would get things going by starting the inning with a triple hit deep to center field, and scored on a passed ball. Larson would once again bring in Fabian off a ground ball to third base, but the offense wasn't done yet. Kelly would also hit a ground ball to right field and drive in Blake Nichols.
Just like that, Chi Town was looking at a 7-2 lead heading into the sixth inning. When it came time for the defense to step up, they did just that, keeping a lid on the Neb National offense. Chi Town would add another two runs from Larson and Solla, increasing the lead to 9-2 heading into the final inning.

As they did the entire tournament, the Chi Town defense stood tall and delivered the final out, securing the championship victory with a final score of 9-2.

Head Coach Chuck Reeder expressed the significance that came with this championship victory.

“It means a lot,” Reeder said.  “We lost five years ago down in Fort Myers...so coming back here after not doing so great just means a lot.” 
For his excellent performance at the plate despite coming up just short of the title, Brennan Baker was declared the MVP. For leading his team to two victories and displaying incredible skills on the mound, Estridge was declared the MV-Pitcher.

“He’s a junior, he’s only 17 years old and he pitched great," Reeder said of Estridge. "We've got a lot of great pitchers, but he was outstanding. Sean Sullivan was outstanding and Miguel Hugas was outstanding.”
-Maxwell Gault
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