Opening Day from 18u WWBA

General : : General
Todd Gold         Ben Collman        
Published: Sunday, July 03, 2011

MARIETTA, Ga. - The 2010 18u WWBA saw a thrilling championship game with the Florida Bombers and East Cobb Braves battling back and forth before the Bombers ended the game in the bottom of the 7th to walk off with a win on a play at the plate. The Bombers claimed their sixth tournament title by knocking off the defending champions.

The defending champions opened up the 2011 tournament with a 10-0 victory over Gators Baseball.  "It's a different year, a different ballclub every year," head coach Emilio Fernandez explained.  "The goal every time we come down here is to win but every year its a different challenge."

With a highly talented lineup that is highlighted by C Jordan Weems (Red Sox 3rd round pick) the Bombers look poised to make another run in 2011.

"We've been going at it for 10 years now," Fernandez added, pointing out the importance of the WWBA 18U National Championship to his team.  "It's something we've hung our hat on."

Top Performances from Day 1:

•  Mason Hope shut down the East Cobb Astros 17s to open the tournament with a 6-3 win for the Oklahoma Drillers. Hope, a 5th round pick of the Marlins threw six shutout innings while scattering 3 hits (1 BB) and striking out 11. Hope was the #2 pitcher for Broken Arrow HS (behind #7 overall pick Archie Bradley) this spring, the Oklahoma 6A state champions who finished the season as the #2 ranked high school team in the nation by PG High School. Hope's fastball topped out at 92 mph.

•  South Florida Elite beats the heat. The Texas Sundevils used a pair of flamethrowers in their tournament opening matchup with the South Florida Elite Squad, with Dustin Kellogg who was up to 91 and Cody Kukuk who was up to 94. But the Elite hitters did a good job of getting ahead in the count and forcing Kukuk to work out over the plate. Lefty Zach Fraley pitched well for the Elite to earn the 4-1 win by going 5 innings and striking out 6.

•  Stephen Gant was sharp in a 7-1 victory over a talented Big Stix Gamers 17u team. Gant tossed 6 shutout innings, striking out 7 and hit 91 on the radar gun several times and mixed it well with a hard breaking 78 mph curveball.

•  Upstate Mavericks RHP Daniel Gossett struck out 8 over 6 innings, allowing just a run in the Mavs' 4-1 tournament opening victory. Gossett commanded his low-mid 90s heat (up to 94) well, and showed a very good curveball.

•  Jake Reed allowed just a run over 6 innings as the San Diego Show opened with a 6-1 victory. Reed's fastball topped out at 92 mph from a low 3/4 angle with good movement and a low effort delivery.

•  All-American Prospects SS Zach Tillery hit a pair of Home Runs in a 15-3 victory, including a first inning grand slam.

•  Team Alabama CF Jameis Winston went 2-for-2 with a walk and a Stolen Base out of the leadoff spot for Team Alabama. Winston is a premium athlete with game changing speed and will be an important piece of Team Alabama's tournament run.

•  2014 LHP Andrew Summerville didn't seem the least bit intimidated by facing much older competition. Summerville was called on to preserve a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the 7th for the RIPS Brewers, the young lefty struck out the first 2 hitters before allowing a bloop single. He then picked off the runner at first with a very good lefty move to end the game. His fastball was up to 84 mph with good downhill plane to his delivery. 2012 RHP/3B Taylor Jones crushed a massive HR to LF and has a very projectable 6' 6" frame. Jones was up to 85 with his fastball at the 15u WWBA last year and definetly warrants being watched when he takes the mound this week.
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