Tournaments : : Story
Friday, June 22, 2012

San Diego Show claim WWBA 14u

Matthew Stokes        
Photo: Perfect Game
MARIETTA, Ga. – Keyed by stellar pitching and timely hitting, the No. 10 seed San Diego Show 14u (8-1) emerged 6-1 winners over the No. 1 seed Dallas Patriots 14u Stout (8-1) in the 2012 WWBA 14u National Championship final on Friday afternoon.

The Show got rolling early, scoring two runs off Patriots starter Cody Sturgeon, who labored through a 36-pitch first inning. The game stayed tight though as the Patriots scored a run of their own in the bottom half of the second, cutting the Show’s lead to 2-1.

After tacking on a run in the third, the Show stayed ahead 3-1 behind the pitching of right-hander Daniel Vasquez, who wiggled his way out of two major bases-loaded jams in the fourth and sixth innings. After Vasquez escaped a two-out, bases-full situation in the bottom of the sixth, his offense rewarded him in a big way, plating three insurance runs to put the game out of reach at 6-1.

“We have never won an event like this in this age group. This is something that we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives. This is going to spring our kids to bigger and better things. I can guarantee you that.”
-- head coach Anthony Stabile
Vasquez returned to the bump for the bottom of the seventh and struck out the first two Patriot hitters before inducing a game-ending flyout to right field off the bat of Blake Frasier, setting off a wild dog pile near the mound.

Before the 11:45 a.m. championship game started, the two semifinal matchups were played, both at 9 a.m. at the East Cobb Baseball Complex. The Patriots won 5-4 over the East Cobb Astros 14u, overcoming a two-run seventh inning rally by the Astros, while the Show bested the Orlando Scorpions 14u Purple by a 5-1 score.

The Show’s championship group endured heartbreak in the past two summers before capturing this title, explained their head coach, Anthony Stabile.

“Two years ago, we played in the 2010 USSSA Elite National Championship game and dropped the game 11-6 with mostly the same group,” said Stabile, who has coached in the organization since Sept. 2009. “Last year we went back to Florida and finished fifth, but this group is dedicated to the game, has a passion for the game and believe in each other. Two years later we’re here, and we finally got it done.”

In 2011, the San Diego Show 18u team won the WWBA 18u National Championship over the East Cobb Yankees.

“We have never won an event like this in this age group,” Stabile said. “This is something that we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives. This is going to spring our kids to bigger and better things. I can guarantee you that.”

Stabile said Dillon Paulson, Yassim Wahhab, Jonathan Pendergast and Vasquez all stood out, but that it took the whole group to win it all.

“Dillon was an animal all week long,” Stabile said, “on the bump and at the plate. Yassim was a true leader in the field and at the plate. Jonathan was a bulldog. He came back on two days rest and beat the Texas Drillers with a complete game outing. Daniel Vasquez…I can’t say enough about that guy. He’s going to play the game for the next 20 years.”

Stabile was also quick to give the organization credit.

“I want to give a little love to the brass back home,” Stabile said. “Brian Cain, Hector Lorenzana and Luis Lorenzana: those three laid the foundation for this group, and I’m grateful and honored to be the leader of this team. It’s a great organization.”

Lastly, Stabile gave Perfect Game credit.

“As far as Perfect Game goes, it’s a top-notch organization,” Stabile said. “We believe in them, and they believe in us.”

NOTES: In addition to the San Diego Show 14u being recognized as tournament champions, the Dallas Patriots 14u Stout’s Michael Neustifter was named Most Valuable Player after batting .550 with 11 base hits, two doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs and three runs scored. Neustifter also pitched seven and a third innings and picked up a win.

The Show’s Pendergast earned Most Valuable Pitcher honors after tossing 12 innings of one-run ball to notch two victories, including a complete game showing against the Texas Drillers in the tournament’s quarterfinals on Thursday.

2012 WWBA 14u National Championship runner-up:  Dallas Patriots 14u Stout



2012 WWBA 14u National Championship MVP:  Michael Neustifter



2012 WWBA 14u National Championship MVPitcher:  Jonathan Pendergast

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