The second day of the 10u and 12u National Championships is now in the books, and both tournaments continued to provide some great baseball. Both tournaments were also able to survive the threatening rain, as the Charleston skies remained blue enough to allow all the games to be completed.
The 10u tournament started the day off with two thrillers.
The Banditos (Tomball, TX) and the Upper Deck Cougars (Orland Park, IL) had a back-and-forth battle. Every time one team threw a punch, the other came back and took the lead. The Banditos were led by Cameron Nickens and McKaylon Bowie. Nickens had two hits and drove in two, while Bowie hit a massive home run, his third in three games this weekend. Michael Ascencio led the Cougars offense, going 2-3 with three RBI.
Highlanders Red (Chicago, IL) won a close 7-6 game over Titans Baseball (Marietta, GA) in the other morning game. The Titans had the lead for most of the game, but in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Highlanders Red rallied for five runs. That rally was spearheaded by a three-run home run by Gilberto Hernandez.
The Central PA Cougars (Mill Hall, PA) took it to the Team Bats Rays (Decatur, GA), scoring four runs in the first and holding on for the 6-2 win. Maddix Dalena had the best day at the plate for the Cougars with two hits—one of which was a double—and two RBI, while Ryan Kennell pitched a six-inning gem.
In the last 10u game of the day, Easton Elite (Whittier, CA) continued to assert itself as the dominant team at the tournament by beating the Upper Deck Cougars 10-1. Jesus Villalobos threw a phenomenal complete game, as he created problems for the Cougars by effectively spotting his fastball and with his dancing knuckleball. Lucas Mistone was a star at the plate going 3-3 with a double, but it was Angelo Aleman who shined the brightest. Aleman also went 3-3, but he also had five RBI including a walkoff grand slam to put the mercy rule into effect.
The 12u tournament was once again full of high-scoring games as well as great pitchers duels.
The East Coast Jays (Oceanside, NY) and EAB (Lilburn, GA) had a low-scoring affair to kick off the morning. The Jays got a combined effort on the mound from Andrew Marx, James Cummings and Dylan Castaneda. Cummings led the staff by throwing a strong three innings, giving up no runs and no hits.
EAB starter Tyler Cowan put forth an incredibly strong effort and was unfortunate to not come away with a win. He gave up just one run in five innings, giving up five hits without walking a single batter. After Cowan had left the game, Jose Matos hit a go-ahead single to put the Jays up for good, giving them a 2-1 victory.
The Jays played a completely different game in their second contest of the day against the OYO Bombers (Indianapolis, IN), losing a close 10-9 offensive battle against a tough team. Both teams were lacing doubles and triples in the gaps, leading to the high-scoring affair. The game ended in thrilling fashion, as both teams scored five runs in the sixth inning, but a diving play in the outfield sealed the victory for the OYO Bombers.
The Home Plate Schmits (Sharpsburg, GA) and East Coast Bombers (Charleston, SC) continued their dominating play in the second day of competition, remaining undefeated in the tournament.
Both teams put on offensive displays. Joseph Eichelberger and Alan Fluellen led the way for Home Plate, collecting three hits and knocking in two runs apiece in their 12-0 victory over the Naperville Renegades – American (Naperville, IL). The East Coast Bombers won 20-6 over the IBAHS Knights Prime (Ceiba, Puerto Rico) in what was truly a collective effort on offense, as eight different players drove in runs.
Day two of the 10u and 12u Super25 was just as exciting as the first. Tomorrow should be even more fun as pool play continues, and the youngsters from both age groups will compete in a home run derby and fastest-man competition.