Tournaments : : Story
Thursday, July 21, 2011

BCS Finals semifinal pairings set

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Perfect Game

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The semifinal round foursomes are set for both of Friday’s 18u and 17u Perfect Game BCS Finals, and there are some unexpected guests.

Just don’t tell Bullets Baseball head coach Sam Marsonek that his 13th-seeded ballclub doesn’t belong in the 18u final four.

“I ain’t coming to Fort Myers to lose,” Marsonek said after Valrico, Fla.,-based Bullets Baseball ambushed the fifth-seeded South Florida Elite Squad, 16-3 in four innings in the quarterfinal round of the 18u BCS Finals at the Boston Red Sox Player Development 5-Plex Thursday afternoon.

“We come here – it don’t matter where we’re at, if I’m coaching high school or whatever – we come to win,” he said. “It’s not a surprise, or least to us it’s not. We’re just going to keep playing hard.”

Bullets Baseball is just one of several lower seeds that will be playing in Friday’s 18u and 17u BCS Finals semifinals at City of Palms Park. The 18u semis will be played at the two fields at COP beginning at 9 a.m. with the two 17u semis slated for 11:30 a.m. at COP.

The 18u championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the 17u championship to follow at 4:30 p.m., also at COP.

Bullets Baseball (6-1-1) will play the ninth-seeded Syracuse Sports Zone Chiefs (6-2) in one 18u semi while No. 11 East Cobb Braves 17u (6-2) takes on No. 2 Next Level Baseball (8-0) in the other semi.

In the 17u tournament, No. 8 Orlando Scorpions 17u Purple (7-1) plays No. 12 South Oakland A’s-Green (6-2) in one semi, with No. 15 Palm Beach County PAL 17u (7-1) taking on the No. 3 Texas Sun Devils (8-0) in the other.

Both No. 1 seeds – 17u Tampa Bay Warriors and 18u FTB Mizuno – were eliminated in early playoff games on Thursday.

Bullets Baseball started the Finals 1-0-1 and stood 2-1-1 after the first game of their second go-around in pool-play. It rallied for four straight wins to reach the semis.

The Bullets pounded out 14 hits in their four-inning, one-sided win over the South Florida Elite Squad, and actually led 16-0 after an inning-and-a-half. Jacob Wright finished 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, four RBI and three runs, while Ryan Atkinson, Michael Fahrman, Sam Machonis and Austin Leeney all drove in two runs.

“The guys are swinging the bats well the last couple of games, they’re staying aggressive on the bases and working hard on the mound,” Marsonek said. “They want to finish well and they’re just taking advantage of their opportunities right now.”

As the No. 13 seed in the playoffs, some observers may have been skeptical of what Bullets Baseball could accomplish here this week. Marsonek wasn’t among the skeptics.

“I always expect to win,” he said. “As a player, as a coach, it doesn’t matter. That’s the mind-set these guys have to have, no matter who you’re playing against. Always expect to win, always expect to beat the other guy, whether you’re hitting or pitching.”

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