All American Game | Story | 11/2/2012

All-Americans, World Champions

Patrick Ebert        
Photo: Perfect Game

JUPITER, Fla. -- A trio of 2012 Perfect Game All-Americans were also members of the East Cobb Baseball team that claimed this year's WWBA World Championship by defeating Chet Lemon's Juice 8-2 in the Championship Game.

Third baseman Travis Demeritte, centerfielder Josh Hart and catcher Brian Navarreto represented one-third of East Cobb Baseball's lineup. Both Demeritte and Hart were named to the event's All-Tournament Team.

This prestigious event, conducted annually at the Roger Dean Sports Complex in Jupiter, Fla., serves as the end of the 2012 tournament season. For high school seniors and long-time members of the East Cobb program such as Demeritte and Hart, the WWBA World Championship also serves as the end of their time with their travel ball organizations.

I'm feeling great,” Hart said with a big smile on his face after the Championship Game. “This is actually our last tournament for East Cobb and then we're off to the next level. We just finished it with a great exclamation mark, did our thing and took (the championship trophy) back home. It feels good.”

This marked the 20th Perfect Game tournament event for both Hart and Demeritte, and the third consecutive year in which they have participated in the WWBA World Championship. The East Cobb program has claimed numerous championships during this time, the most recent of which being the 2012 18u BCS Finals.

I'm so glad we got to pull this off,” Demeritte added of East Cobb's victory. “Like (Josh) said, this is our last tournament with East Cobb, and what a great way to finish it.

We're a family. It's a grind, but it's been a pleasure grinding with these boys. I'm proud of my boys.”

Demeritte was the star of the Championship Game, going 3-for-3 with a double and four driven in as part of East Cobb Baseball's 8-2 win over Chet Lemon's Juice. He also started his team's Quarterfinal matchup against Palm Beach PAL, striking out 10 batters in six innings in a 6-1 victory to advance.

The most impressive part of Demeritte's performance on Monday was his defense, as he made a spectacular diving back-handed play on a sharply hit ground ball only to get up and fire a strike to first base to record the out.

Hart, who made the defensive play of the Perfect Game All-American Classic, went 1-for-1 with a pair of walks and three runs scored in the Championship Game. Overall he hit .455 in the tournament with eight runs scored and three stolen bases while serving as the team's leadoff hitter.

It's an adventure,” Hart said of his time with the East Cobb program. “It's been a journey. The ups and downs, battling through adversity. We hung in there, we're a family and we stuck together just like that. When you pull together you see what happens: We win.”

Navarreto, who was unavailable to play on the last day of the event, went 4-for-10 in the tournament while exhibiting his usual impressive defense behind the plate.

Their teammate, Wesley Jones, was named the tournament's MVP by hitting .524 with four doubles while driving in 10 runners during the five-day tournament. Jones also took the mound and pitched the first four innings of the Championship Game for East Cobb Baseball.

With the end of the tournament season, it's now time for Demeritte and Hart to turn their attention to their future individual goals of playing at the next level, whether that be in college or as a pro.

Both quickly recognize that a lot of work still needs to be done to accomplish those goals.

Hitting the weights,” Demeritte responded with laughter when asked what the focus was after the WWBA World Championship. “Getting a little bigger, faster, stronger and hopefully make an impact on this draft or get ready to go to South Carolina.”

Workout baby, improve,” Hart concurred. “Work out, get bigger, work on some of the things you're kind of weak on. Get my school work done and see what happens next, either Georgia Tech or the draft.”

To read more about the 2012 WWBA World Championship please visit the event page as well as Jeff Dahn's feature on the Championship Game.

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