FORT MYERS, Fla. – The top seeds in the Perfect Game 16u BCS Finals playoffs all fell in the quarterfinal round Wednesday night just as steadily as the raindrops that plagued the tournament the entire day.
All four of the top-seeds were ousted in the quarters in games that were completed nearly six hours after originally scheduled due to another round of thunderstorms that hit Terry Park early in the afternoon and persisted well into the evening.
The ninth-seeded Midland Braves (6-1-1) took care of No. 1 seed SC Shockwave (7-1), 8-4; No. 7 South Florida Prospects (7-1) nipped No. 2 Team Volusia Gold (7-1), 3-1; No. 11 Palm Beach Select (6-2) smothered No. 3 Dulins Dodgers (7-1), 14-1; and No. 4 Palm Beach County PAL 16u (7-1) got by No. 4 South Florida Elite Squad Black (6-2), 3-2.
The 16u BCS Finals semifinals will be played Thursday at City of Palms Park at 9 a.m. (weather permitting). The pairings have the Midland Braves playing PBC PAL 16u at the stadium at COP, while Palm Beach Select will play the South Florida Prospects on the auxiliary field at COP.
The results were a mirror opposite of what transpired Wednesday morning, when all four top seeds rolled into the quarters after first-round victories, and looked poised to make the semis their own little picnic.
The upstarts would have none of that.
The biggest shocker was probably No. 11 seed Palm Beach Select’s total dismantling of the No. 3 Dulins Dodgers. Nolan Mullen (2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 runs), Tucker Norton (1-2, 2-run home run, 2 runs scored) and Logan Heiser (2-for-3, 1 RBI) led Select’s 11-hit attack. Right-hander Brandon Keithly allowed three hits over his four innings of work, which was all that was needed when the game ended under the mercy rule.
The ninth-seeded Midland Braves provided a headline of their own by knocking off No. 1 SC Shockwave. The Braves scored single runs in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings, and two runs in the second and the sixth to eliminate the Shockwave.
Zak Shannon went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double, drove in a run and scored two more to lead the Braves. Gary Trapani was 3-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored and TJ Nichting was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored at the plate, and pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts while picking up the save.
South Florida Prospects left-hander Alec Byrd pitched six innings of one-hit ball and struck out 11 in the No. 7 Prospects’ 3-1 win over No. 2 Team Volusia Gold.