Tournaments : : Story
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

17u playoff picture coming into view

Heading into the final day of pool play at the 17u WWBA National Championship the playoff picture is starting to take shape. 

Pool A:
Florida Hardballers (3-0) 22 RS-3 RA: Can clinch Pool A with a win over Team Alabama today at 4:30. This is one of the biggest matchups of the day, as the winner will likely earn a first round bye. 
Kenny Burkhead (2012 Trinity Christian HS, Deltona, FL) and Dominic Landry (2012 Trinity Catholic HS, Ocala, FL) are listed as probables for the Hardballers. Both are quality pitchers who will give them a chance to win but they will have to be on when they face a highly talented Team Alabama lineup, headlined by Jameis Winston (2012 Hueytown HS, AL) and opposing pitcher Jackson Stephens. 

Team Alabama likely must win to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Hardballers have only allowed 3 runs to this point and may be able to survive a loss but have a first round bye at stake. 

Pool B: 
The highly talented ABD Bulldogs are in great shape at 4-0 having clinched the pool and with just 8 runs allowed are in position to earn a first round bye. 3B
Daniel Robertson has been on fire at the plate this week, going 6-for-10 (.692 OBP) with 3 doubles and a Home Run, carrying the Bulldog offense.

The Miami Snappers will need a win tomorrow against the RBI Hawks to move to 4-1 and have a chance at a wild card berth.
Carlos Cabrera (2012 Doral HS, Miami, FL) is listed as the probably starter for the Snappers and will have an opportunity to possibly pitch his team into the playoffs.

Pool C:
All-American Prospects 17u are 3-0 with head-to-head wins over both Alabama Seminoles (2-1) and Cincy Flames (2-1). Should they both win today, the winner of tomorrow's 2:00 matchup between the Seminoles and Flames. If it is a low scoring game the winner will likely earn a wildcard berth. The Prospects need to win at least one more game to clinch the pool.

Pool D: 
IN Pony Express Blue is in great shape at 3-0 with a head to head win over the only 2-1 team in the pool; East Alabama A's. The A's are still alive in the wild card race but will need to pitch well in their final two games against Bucky Dent Bandits Seminoles and Team Elite Black 17u.

Pool E: 
If the playoffs began today Kentucky Baseball Club would have a first round bye. As it stands they are in good shape at 3-0 and with a head to head win over the over the 2-1 Angels White. The Angels have a good chance of earning a wild card berth, having allowed just 7 runs thus far and both remaining games are against teams who have scored 9 runs each.

Kentucky will be a dangerous team in the playoffs, especially with a bye. With arguably the best pitcher in the 2013 class,
Clinton Hollon (2013 Woodford County HS, Lexington, KY) at their disposal they have a chance to move deep into the playoffs if they can take care of business in the meantime. 

Pool F:
After beating
Lance McCullers and the Tampa Bay Warriors, CCB 17u Elite are in the driver's seat at 3-0. The Warriors have a big matchup at 2:00 today against fellow 2-1 Diamond-Simcox 17u. The winner of that matchup will be in good shape to pick up a wild card berth. This pool will likely have two playoff teams come out of it so long as both teams take care of business in their final two matchups.

Pool G:
This pool is far from settled. With the Longshots at 2-0-1, South Charlotte Panthers at 2-1 and DBat Mustangs Bonesio at 1-1-1 there is a lot to be determined over the final two games. DBat needs to win both remaining games and have both the Longshots and Panthers each lose once. The Longshots and Panthers will face off tomorrow at 9:00 in a matchup that will most likely determine the pool winner. 

South Charlotte has listed
Nathan Helvey (2012 Fort Mill HS, SC) as their probable starter against the Longshots. Helvey is a big strong righty who showed an impressive arsenal highlighted by a hard 12-6 curveball and a good slider when we last saw him in the fall. We are excited to see how the College of Charleston commit has progressed.

Pool H:
Illinois Sparks-McCarthy clinched the pool with a 4-0 start and have a chance to earn a bye with a win tomorrow. The Dirtbags Black and Action Baseball Green 17u are both sitting 2-1-1 and will need a win and a lot of help tomorrow to earn a wild card.

Pool I:
NBS 17s has a one game lead over Chet Lemon's Juice going into tomorrow's head to head 2:00 matchup. The Juice is in good shape for one of the 12 wild card spots, having allowed just 3 runs through 3 games. The Mid-Atlantic Canes are also in the mix at 2-1 but can't afford to give up many runs the rest of the way.

NBS is led by power hitting C
Tyler Gates (2012 Cass HS, Cartersville, GA) who homered in each of his first two games and has consistently found ways to get on base (including 1 walk, 3 HBP) while drawing positive reviews for his good bat speed. Chet Lemon's Juice is paced by speedy leadoff hitting SS Richie Martin (2012 Bloomingdale HS, Brandon, FL), a Florida commit who is hitting .429 (.600 OBP) and 3 SBs. 

Pool J:
The 9:00 matchup between the Heat Showcase and Rookies Baseball will be a huge matchup. Winner takes the pool, if its a low scoring game the loser may have a shot at the wild card but its going to be close. Expect a playoff atmosphere at Duluth High School. 

Pool K:
Both the ABA Braves and Long Island Storm enter the day at 3-0 with a head-to-head matchup scheduled for tomorrow. The Braves have a tough matchup with Marucci Elite today, who entered the tournament as a strong contender but has yet to pick up a W. 

Pool L:
South Florida Elite Black has clinched the pool at 4-0 and with a head to head win over 3-1 Team Gwinett in the tourney opener.
Hayden Hurst (2012 Bolles School, Jacksonville, FL) struck out 9 Gwinett hitters and held them to 3 hits over 5 shutout innings in that game. 

Team Gwinett still has a shot at a wild card berth but will need a win tomorrow and a good pitching performance from
Ryan Woodard (2012 Brookwood HS, Lawrenceville, GA).

Pool M:
The 9:00 matchup between the Baseball U Prospects and Maryland Monarchs tomorrow will produce a pool winner. The loser will have a chance at a wild card berth but it will need to be a low scoring game. 

It will be an intense matchup between quality teams from the northeast, highlighted by one of the best Catcher prospects in the nation,
Chris Harvey (2012 Germantown Academy, Norristown, PA) of Baseball U.

Pool N:
Interesting scenario at play here. The East Cobb Braves 17u hold the lead at 3-0-1. Their tie came against second place St. Louis Gamers 17u Blue. The Gamers are tied with the Jacksonville Warriors at 2-1-1 but the Warriors have the head to head tiebreaker. If the Warriors beat the Braves and the Gamers win the Braves will likely take the pool on the Runs Scored tie breaker. If the Warriors win and the Gamers lose then the Warriors win the pool with the head to head tiebreaker over the Braves. 

Both of those games will be going on at 2:00, you can bet there will be some scoreboard watching going on between innings. 

Pool O:
Juggernaut FTB sits at 3-1 after an upset loss this morning to the East Coast Grays South 6-4. They are currently tied with the Virginia Cardinals for first and hold the head to head tiebreaker but will need to win tomorrow to clinch. The Cardinals have a good shot at a wildcard berth, having allowed just 9 runs thus far (8 against FTB last night) so long as they can take care of business against the Game Ready Cavs tomorrow. 

Pool P:
NJ Super 17 2013 broke up a 3-way tie today by knocking off All-American Prospects Blue 3-1 this morning. The Atlanta Blue Jays are a game and a half back with a matchup against Dallas Tigers-Ingram this afternoon and a win would set up a do-or-die game to decide the pool against NJ Super 17s tomorrow at 11:30 at Centennial HS.

Pool Q:
The Texas Sun Devils are currently the top team in the field, sitting at 3-0 and having yet to allow a run. But should they lose to the CBC O's Orange tomorrow (if CBC wins today) they lose the pool, though would most likely earn a wildcard berth. The 3-1 Del Mar Va Canes are still alive in the wild card chase and will need to knock off Tri-State Arsenal 2013 National at 2:00 tomorrow.

The Canes should be in good shape with
Joey Strain (2012 Huntingtown HS, Prince Frederick, MD) slated to take the mound for them tomorrow. The Sun Devils comes as little surprise, as they have one of the deepest rosters in the tourney field, with plenty of pitchers who are capable of throwing 90+ mph for strikes. They also boast two elite position prospects in SS Gavin Cecchini (2012 Barbe HS, Lake Charles, LA) and C Stryker Trahan (2012 Aracadiana, Scott, LA). 

Pool R: 
The Homeplate Chillidogs have wrapped up the pool with a win this afternoon. With 5 runs allowed to this point they are looking at a first round bye if they win tomorrow.

The second place Citius Bandits at 2-1 with 11 runs allowed are still alive but will need to win their last two games and can't afford to give up many runs to earn a wild card berth. 

Pool S:
The East Cobb Astros 16u and Philadelphia Senators are in a dead heat in the race for Pool S. Each team entered their head to head matchup on Field 1 at 3-0 this afternoon. After a 4-4 tie nothing is settled. The Astros lead the tiebreaker with 8 runs allowed to the Senators' 12. Both teams can make the playoffs with a win tomorrow, with the tie breaker serving to determine seeding. 

Pool T:
The Chattanooga Cyclones 17u are in good shape at 2-0-1 as this pool has had a lot of parity to this point. A couple of second place teams (Marucci Elite 16s and Bucky Dent Bandits Royal) sit at 1-0-2. The NJ Mariners sit in fourth at 1-1-1 in spite of allowing the fewest runs in the pool (7). 

Pool U:
Utah Baseball Academy has played very well thus far, at 4-0 with 11 runs allowed. The Canes Prospects are just a half game back of UBA at 2-0-1, the two play each other tomorrow at 2:00. The Canes will need to beat Houston Kyle Chapman today to keep their hopes alive, if Houston wins they will be 3-1 with a chance to win the pool with a Canes win or possibly claim a wild card berth.

Pool V:
This is one of the most exciting races of the tournament. Team Citius and the Richmond Braves National are tied at 3-1 with a head to head matchup tomorrow. That game could determine a winner if the East Cobb Indians (2-1) lose one of their final two games, but if the Indians win both remaining games they would be tied for first at 4-1 with the winner of the Braves-Citius matchup.

The Indians hold the tie breaker over Richmond but Citius controls their own destiny and will win the pool with a win tomorrow.

Pool W: 
After four games very little is settled. The North East Rays, East Cobb Astros 17u and Dallas Patriots all sit at 3-1. The Astros and Rays face one another tomorrow while the Patriots face RBA West Elite. 

If the Rays beat the Astros they win the pool. If the Patriots win they would need the Braves to beat the Rays to win the pool. The Astros need to win and have the Patriots lose. The Patriots have the best shot at a wild card if they win tomorrow but lose the head to head tiebreaker since they've only allowed 5 runs to this point. Stay tuned.

Pool X:
The 1-1 tie between Bobby Valentine's All-Americans and Ohio Elite creates some suspense in this pool. Both teams are at 2-0-1 and both have allowed few runs and have tough remaining schedules. FTB Mizuno Underclass is a half game back of both teams and could sneak in to win the pool and also has a good shot at a wild card berth at 2-1 with just 7 runs allowed. 

Pool Y:
Team Mizuno Midwest has allowed just 2 runs in their first 3 games and are in good shape at 3-0 at the moment. They matchup with NJ Super 17s American at 4:30 today who is also 3-0. The winner clinches the pool, the loser will need to win tomorrow to have a chance at the wild card. 

Pool Z:
Orlando Scorpions 17u Black hold a one game lead and the head to head tiebreaker over Team Georgia Baseball Academy 17u. TGBA has allowed 11 runs through 3 games which gives them a shot at a wild card if they play well over their final two games. 

Parker Perez
(2012 Winter Springs HS, FL) is having a huge tournament, going 7-for-10 with a pair of triples for the Scorpions. Joseph Starling (2013 Bartow HS, FL) threw 4 dominant innings for the Scorps on Sunday with 6 strikeouts and will give them a chance to win any playoff game they are able to use him in. 

Pool AA:
Canes Baseball looks like one of the favorites through 4 games at 4-0 having allowed just 5 runs. They will have to knock off the 3-1 Music City Outlaws tomorrow at 11:30 though to clinch it. 

The Canes have gotten stellar pitching to this point, with only
Cole Irvin (2012 Servite HS, Yorba Linda, CA) being the only member of the staff to have allowed an earned run. Irvin allowed 2 in the first inning of the tourney opener before settling in to shut down a talented Illinois Sparks lineup the rest of the way. 

Pool BB:
San Gabriel Valley Arsenal looked like a heavy favorite in the pool entering the tourney but after a 4-0 loss to Top Tier in the opener it is Top Tier who is in great shape at this point. Having allowed just 2 runs in their 3-0 start Top Tier is couple of wins away from a first round bye. San Gabriel and the Carolina Cubs are tied for 2nd at 2-1 and play one another in what is essentially an elimination game this afternoon.

San Gabriel boasts the #2 player in the country in RHP
Lucas Giolito (2012 Harvard-Westlake HS, Santa Monica, CA) along with several other elite players on the roster. They would be a nightmare first round draw if they make the playoffs as a wild card.

Pool CC: 
PBC PAL has clinched the pool win at 4-0 and are in decent shape to lock up a first round bye. They have allowed 11 runs through their first four games and are in the driver's seat for a first round bye but will need to win tomorrow and should try to avoid a slugfest.

Trea Turner (2011 Park Vista HS, Lake Worth, FL) has led the way for PAL, going 5-for-8 with a .727 OBP scoring 4 Runs and Stealing 3 bases out of the leadoff spot. Turner is also a very talented defender up the middle. 

Pool DD:
The Upstate Mavericks Black hold a half game lead over the SWFL 17u but SWFL owns the head to head tie-breaker and controls their own destiny. The Mavericks threw shutouts in their other two games and are very much alive in the wild card race should SWFL win their final two games .

Pool EE: 
After winning the 18u championship last week, expectations were very high for the San Diego Show. But after getting shutout 6-0 by Team Elite 17u White in the opener they are will need some help to win the pool. The first round bye is up for grabs for Team Elite but they will have their work cut out for them.The Show have a good shot of a wild card spot if they can win out, having only allowed 7 runs.

Fernando Perez
(2012 Otay Ranch HS, Chula Vista, CA) has been the hitting star for the Show thus far, going 5-for-9 3 Runs and 5 RBIs through the first three games. Stephen Gonsalves (2013 Cathedral Catholic HS, La Jolla, CA) has hit very well for a 2013 pitcher, going 4-for-7 with a pair of RBIs. More importantly, Gonsalves has not pitched yet and has a fresh arm for a big game down the stretch. 

Pool FF:
DBat McCabe has only allowed 2 runs in three games, but unfortunately for them they both came in a 2-1 loss to the Farrah Builders Scout team yesterday. The Builders hold the one game lead and the tiebreaker, and having allowed just 5 runs they also have a shot at a first round bye. DBat has a shot at the wild card but they have a tough matchup tomorrow with fellow 2-1 Windward Braves Red who are also still in the mix.

Pool GG:
With 7 runs allowed and a 4-0 start the Houston Banditos Black have lived up to the lofty expectations they entered the tournament with. Having already clinched the pool the only thing left for the Banditos to play for in their final pool play matchup tomorrow is a first round bye. 

The Banditos are an offensive juggernaut, with 44 runs scored through their first four games and a lineup that features highly ranked players up and down. SS
CJ Hinojosa (2012 Klein Collins HS, Spring, TX) is hitting .750 with 5 R, 6 RBIs and a HR. OF Nick Williams (2012 Ball HS, La Marque, TX) is 6-for-9 with 5 R, 5 RBI, a HR and 4 SBs. 

Pool HH:
BigStix Gamers 17u can clinch the pool with a win over the Dallas Stars Black this afternoon. Though they've only allowed 6 runs they won't be able to clinch a first round bye after tying yesterday. 

The Gamers haven't generated much offense, but their pitching has been stellar. Lefty
Kevin Martin (2012 Eagles Landing Christian School, McDonough, GA) struck out 12 in a CG win over the Orioles Scout Team, topping out at 89 with good command.

Pool II:
The Orlando Scorpions 17u Purple have clinched the pool with a 4-0 start and have allowed just 3 runs thus far. A win tomorrow all but assures a first round bye and a high seed. There will not be a wild card team coming out of this pool.

Jalen Phillips (2012 Dr. Phillips HS, Ocoee, FL) has gone 4-for-9 with a pair of Home Runs to lead the offense. Carson Fulmer (2012 All Saints Academy, Lakeland, FL) and Walker Weickel (2012 ) each had dominant outings. Fullmer struck out 12 (2 BBs) while allowing just one hit, Weickel struck out 9 (1 BB) and allowed 3 hits in a shutout of his own.

Pool JJ:
Patriots National 17u have clinched at 4-0 and there will be no wild card team from this pool. Having allowed 13 runs thus far the Pats still have a shot at a first round bye but will need to win tomorrow and not allow too many runs. 

Will Nance (2013 Moorehead HS, Eden, NC) has had a big showing thus far, going 4-for-7 with 2 doubles and a Home Run for the Pats. On the mound Parker Johnson (2013 Robinson HS, Arden, NC) has been overpowering, striking out 11 over 5 innings while allowing just 3 hits over 5 innings. 
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