Tournaments : : Story
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Final Four Set at 17u WWBA

Todd Gold         Ben Collman        
MARIETTA, Ga.-- The largest amatuer baseball in tournament history has pared the field down from 216 teams to the final four. After three exhilirating rounds of playoff games, the remaining contenders will take a break to rest up and get ready for their two biggest games of the year. 

With the dust settled, its Florida Travel Ball, Baseball U Prospects, Orlando Scorpions Black and the East Cobb Braves 17u who still remain. Two of the four quarterfinal matchups were emphatic statement games by lower seeds making the case that they belong.

The 12th seeded Baseball U Prospects took out the #4 seed Texas Sundevils 13-5 at Kell HS. FTB outplayed the East Cobb Astros 16u from the first pitch on in a 9-2 win in their quarterfinal matchup. The Orlando Scorpions Black continued their cinderella run as the 23 seed with a 4-2 win over the ABD Bulldogs. Baseball U is the highest remaining seed left and the only team with a first round bye to make the final four. 

The East Cobb Braves 17u won a quarterfinal matchup with Palm Beach Pal in what was possibly the best game of the tournament thus far. After pulling ahead 1-0 in the top of the first the Braves got hit around over the first three innings, finding themselves down 9-2 going to the 4th. The Braves pushed across a pair in the top of the 4th to make it 9-4 and held Pal scoreless in the bottom half. Then the outburst happened. A hit by pitch followed by a walk and then a single loaded the bases with Jordan Ebert coming to the plate. Ebert crushed a towering shot out of right field for a grand slam to pull within a run at 9-8. The grannie was followed by another walk and finally a game winning 2-run Home Run to right center by Wes Burns brought the Braves all the way back. Kyle Carter closed it out with a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning, topping out at 90 mph for the Save.

The Braves will face the Baseball U Prospects in the semifinals. FTB takes on the Scorpions in a battle of the Sunshine State in the other seminfinal matchup. So far this year East Cobb has been represented in the championship of each age division, with the Astros winning the 14u and 15u tournaments and the Yankees reaching the 18u finals. Baseball U features a very potent lineup led by Chris Harvey and could prove to be a very difficult final obstacle. FTB was without star SS Adison Russell yesterday after being hit in the hand on Wednesday, he is day to day, FTB has enough depth to be dangerous without him but if he's able to go it would be a big boost. 
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