FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The 2013 12u PG BCS Finals championship rolled into its third day on Wednesday with very little resolved in terms of Friday's final four playoff picture. The winners of a couple of skills competitions held on Tuesday had been determined, however.
Kevin Ortiz, a 5-foot-6, 130-pound slugger in the high school class of 2019 from the southeast Texas baseball hotbed of Houston and a member of the Gulf Coast Shockers, won the Home Run Challenge. Ultra-evasive 5-foot-3, 125-pound speedster Payton Harden from Humble, Texas, a member of Team Mizuno Houston, captured the crown in the Fastest Man Competition.
Ortiz and J.P. Tighe (2018, Dalton, Ga.) both smashed nine home runs in the first round of the Home Run Challenge and Ortiz won the prize based on tie-breaker criteria. Harden ran a 7.15-second 60-yard dash to capture the Fastest Man title.
As the 2013 12u PG BCS Finals moves into its final day of pool-play on Thursday, four teams asserted themselves as front-runners to reach Friday's final four. The Dallas Tigers-Hernandez (5-0 overall) from Coppell, Texas; the SIII Hustlers (5-0) from Corpus Christi, Texas; Team Mizuno Houston (4-0-1) from Houston and the East Cobb Braves (4-0-1) from Marietta, Ga., were all 2-0 in their second round of pool-play and poised to capture pool championships with wins on Thursday.
Players from SIII Hustler dominated the individual stats over the tournament's first five games. Genaro Cardenas (2018, Laredo, Texas) was 9-for-12 (.750) with two doubles, two triples, a home run, five RBI and 10 runs scored, and posted a tournament-high 2.286 OPS.
Right-handers Jacob Garza (2018, Corpus Christi, Texas) and Wade Elliott (2019, Midland, Texas) combined to throw 11 innings of 11-hit ball and allowed three earned runs with a 19 strikeouts and six walks.
Harden was 7-for-13 (.538) with a double, two triples, a home run, two RBI and nine runs scored, with a 2.460 OPS and seven stolen bases to lead Team Mizuno Houston.