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Tournaments | Championship | 6/15/2019

Summer Showdown Champs

Cory Van Dyke        
Photo: 643 DP Cougars 15u Montgomery (Perfect Game)

Hit parade leads 643 DP Cougars 15u to title

KENNESAW, Ga. – Hit. After hit. After hit. That was the story of the game for 643 DP Cougars 15u Montgomery as they captured the title in the 2019 PG 15u Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form by defeating Georgia Jackets 15u American 17-6 in six innings.

The Cougars strung together 19 hits in the game on the way to those 17 runs with loud contact most of the afternoon. 

“When we put this team together back in August, I knew it was a special team,” head coach Nelson Pedraza said. “Very talented and young student-athletes. They can hit. Big players and all players, what’s going to make you better as a hitter is making adjustments. They knew how to make adjustments.”

Andruw Jones finished the day with 4-for-5 at the plate with a triple and two RBIs. Over the course of the week, Jones was an insane 15-for-21 (.714 average) with 12 runs scored, two doubles, three triples, five RBIs, and six stolen bases.

“I was just keeping the ball up the middle and staying with a firm approach to go the other way,” Jones said. “Running as hard as you can to get on base and steal bases.”

As one can imagine, Jones’ performance was good enough to win him MVP of the tournament.

“He’s pretty special,” Pedraza said. “Not only the talented kid that he is and the baseball talent, but the makeup and the team leader that he is in the dugout and on the field. He commands everybody. He cheers on everybody which is pretty special for a kid like Andruw.”

In the championship, Jae Williams had a 3-for-4 day at the top of the lineup with two triples and four other RBIs. Six players for the Cougars had two hits or more on the afternoon. Reginald Austin earned the win on the bump, tossing four innings and surrendering four hits, three runs (one earned), and three walks along with three strikeouts.

It was a game of redemption for 643 DP Cougars after they fell to the same Georgia Jackets team earlier in pool play in a game that Pedraza admitted got away from them.

“The big story about it is it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Pedraza said. “We fell to this team 5-4. We blew a lead of 4-0 in the fifth inning and we ended up losing the game. It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. We finished strong which is pretty cool.”

For the Cougars, it was a matter of all the pieces fitting together to take home the title. Next week, the team will compete in the 2019 PG Super25 15U Georgia Super Qualifier looking to ride off the energy gained this week.

“It means a lot,” Jones said. “It really takes us into the next tournament to win next tournament hopefully. It keeps the momentum for us with all the wins we’ve gotten so far.”

Cimino's walk-off grand slam captures championship for Team Elite

DUNWOODY, Ga. – Team Elite National 14u sauntered back to the dugout after just allowing two runs in the top of the seventh inning, now trailing 5-0 to Georgia Jackets 14u National in the championship of the 2019 PG 14u Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form.

All hopes of a comeback appeared bleak. Team Elite had only been able to muster three hits in the game up until that point. Head coach Mike Gearhart pulled his team aside and laid out the 

“I gave them a little speech basically saying that impossible situations are just opportunities,” Gearhart said. “I told them to compete harder at the plate, to refuse to make outs, and that’s exactly what they did.”

And so the impossible quickly turned to possible for Team Elite.

Tyler Williams and Bryce Peppers each found a way on base with a walk and hit-by-pitch respectively. Cale Stricklin, Kameron Byrd, and Evan Pope all kept the rally going with singles.

Zach Cimino stepped to the plate with Team Elite now down 5-2 with the bases loaded and one out. One swing could change the entire complexity of the game, and that’s precisely what happened.

Cimino uncorked the fastball over the left field fence for the walk-off grand slam. The fans and players for Team Elite erupted as Cimino was mobbed at home plate. The catcher’s big shot left the final score at 6-5 in favor of Team Elite, and Cimino was named MVP of the tournament.

“He’s a great leader,” Gearhart said. “He comes to the park ready to play all the time. He’s not only a verbal leader, but an example leader. He’s important in that regard and building chemistry for the team. I’m happy for him that he came through there.”

William Turner started the game on the mound for Team Elite and struck out six batters over four innings. Stricklin and Pope combined the strike out five batters over the final three innings, and despite the five runs given up, Team Elite struck out 11 hitters on the day with all three pitchers averaging a fastball in the upper-70’s. 

“At the beginning of the year I told them all that they would be put in situations that they might not be comfortable with because pitching is a funny thing where some days you pitch really well and some days it’s a struggle,” Gearhart said “Today was one of those days… I don’t think any of them had their best stuff, but they competed very well.”

Team Elite’s comeback win instills confidence. It produces belief in the team for the summer ahead, especially with the 2019 WWBA 14u National Championship just two weeks away.

“Believing that they can overcome challenges and obstacles no matter what they are. I think the big message today was just that,” Gearhart said. “I think they learned today that they can take impossible situations and turn them into great opportunities to achieve some good things… As we go through a long season and a grind, you have to be able to believe in things like that and you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.”

Mulcahy's big day at the plate fuels Los Tigres

KENNESAW, Ga. – At the 2019 PG 13u Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form, one team made the trip over 800 miles from Houston, Texas to take part in the tournament.

At the end of the week, they were the only team standing as Los Tigres 2024 defeated Knights Baseball 13u Platinum 13-7 in the championship.

“They’ve been battling the whole week,” head coach Raffi Gross said. “They went through a lot. They deserve this. They’ve been working hard right from the start of the summer.”

The run production was powered by the offensive fireworks from Colin Mulcahy. Mulcahy smashed two home runs in the championship over the fence in left field, also adding two walks and four RBIs.

The left fielder finished the tournament with two singles, three doubles, and one triple in addition to the two dingers. Mulcahy also collected eight RBIs over the week and earned MVP honors.

“That’s unbelievable,” Gross said. “He’s been hot. I’m super proud of him. He’s a kid who’s been on the downside a little bit, but he’s been working his tail off and he did it. I’m proud of him.”

In the championship, Los Tigres pounded out 12 hits to score those 13 runs. Clarke Dillard was 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs while Eduardo Tamez was 2-for-4 on the day with a triple and two RBIs.

Joseph Garcia started the game on the bump and battled for Los Tigres despite not being as sharp as he was earlier in the tournament. Coming into the game, Garcia had pitched four innings and struck out five batters without giving up a run. He was selected as the MV-Pitcher of the tournament.

“When you see a good pitcher, even when they don’t have their best stuff, and they battle, that shows and tells you a lot,” Gross said. “I’m super proud of [Garcia].” 

The only blemish of the week was a loss in pool play to SmarTense Angels 13u Northcutt. Otherwise, mission accomplished for Los Tigres. All in all, it makes the long return trip so much sweeter.

“We’re going home happy,” Gross said. “This is just the beginning.”

2019 PG 13U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form Finalist: Knights Baseball 13U Platinum

2019 PG 13U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form MVP: Colin Mulcahy

2019 PG 13U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form MVPitcher: Joseph Garcia

2019 PG 14U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form Finalist: Georgia Jackets 14U National

2019 PG 14U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form MVP: Zach Cimino

22019 PG 14U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form MVPitcher: Jake Lankie

2019 PG 15U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form Finalist: Georgia Jackets 15U American (Not Pictured)

2019 PG 15U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form MVP: Andruw Jones

2019 PG 15U Summer Showdown Protected by G-Form MVPitcher: Jason May
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