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Tournaments  | Story  | 6/24/2023

18u BCS Championship Preview

Riley Sheppard     
Nearly 20 of the top 18U baseball teams from across the nation will be battling it out for the BCS National Championship in Fort Myers, Florida this weekend. And with eight playoff spots up for grabs, every team will be fighting to win their respective pool or sneak in as one of five wild card spots.  

One team that could be among the final standing is Chi Town Cream out of Glencoe, Illinois. With a mix of the top 2023 and 2024 graduates, including an elite outfield of AJ Garcia, Cam Caminiti and Luke Williams. Through nine games in 2023, Garcia, a University of Michigan commit, has ripped two extra base hits and driven in three RBIs. Right-handed pitcher Connor Mattison and catcher Colton Wombles will also be players to watch for. Mattison, a Grand Canyon University pledge, has not allowed a run in 10 ⅔ innings through 2023 while striking out 16. While Wombles, an Auburn commit and No. 1 catcher in Alabama, is posting a .421 on base percentage, with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs through 14 games. 

After taking home the title last year, Nelson Baseball School would love to make it back-to-back BCS Championships and is led by right-handed pitcher Lorenzo Atwell and catcher Jordan Baynes. Atwell, capable of reaching 89 mph on the mound, has struck out 25 over his last 17 ⅔ innings dating back to 2022 and allowing just three earned runs over that span. And his catcher, Baynes, is equally as dangerous behind the plate - driving in 16 RBI over 38 games last year and posting a .400 on base percentage.  

3n2 Sticks Baseball 18U National also has plenty of talent to make a deep run this week, including Zane Starling, Eric Fernandez and Aiden Torres. A University of North Florida commit, Starling has proven two way potential following a 2022 campaign where he struck out 32 batters over 20 innings. Fernandez, a top-20 shortstop in Florida, has gotten off to a blazing start so far in 2023 - posting a .462 batting average through five games to go along with four RBI. Torres, another two-way threat and University of New Orleans pledge, has gotten plenty of work in both areas this year. Through 19 games in the box, the No. 3 first baseman in Florida has gotten on base at a .434 rate, to go along with nine RBI, two doubles and a home run. On the mound, the 6-foot-7 Torres has allowed just three runs through 12 innings, while striking out 19 batters.  

The five day tournament kicks off on Sunday at 8:00 a.m with six games in the early morning slot.