FTB Pride took home the 18u East Memorial Day Title, beating the Upstate Mavericks 4-1 in the title game to finish the tournament with an 8-0 record.
FTB rolled thru pool play going 4-0 with a 23-4 run differential before beating the Miami Suns 7-0 Sunday night to advance to championship Monday. They then rolled to three straight wins, first a 5-4 come from behind win over a very talented Orlando Scorpions Underclass Purple team. To earn a spot in the championship game, FTB won a wild 11-10 contest over Chet Lemon’s Juice, a game that saw FTB put up nine runs in the bottom of the 4th, only to see the Juice tie it with five of their own to tie it. Corey Baptist drove in Christian Arroyo with a 5th inning single that proved to be the final tally in the thrilling win.
In the championship game, played at picturesque JetBlue Park (new spring training stadium of the Boston Red Sox) FTB jumped out early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first with Christian Arroyo, Corey Baptist, and Angel Soto picking up the RBI. Three pitchers held an Upstate Mavericks offense that scored a total of 20 runs in their first two Monday games to a single run on three hits. Baptist pitched the first two innings, Soto the following two to pick up the win, and Kevin Oluierda picked up the save with three perfect frames.
Tournament MVP Oscar Mercado led the way on offense going 11-24 (.458) for the tournament also stealing four bases and providing flawless defense at shortstop and second base. His double play partner, Christian Arroyo drove in six runs over the weekend as well. The double play combination may be the best in the country, Mercado is a Florida State commit, Arroyo with Florida.
Other top offensive performers were Baptist , who went 9-24 with eight RBI, Willies Estrada, 10-21, and Chase Vogelbach, who went 8-22.
Joe Jimenez earned two wins, throwing 10 2/3, walking three and striking out 16 and Brandon Lawson allowed just a single earned run over his nine innings.
The Tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher came from the runner-up Upstate Mavericks, as Brevard College commit Hunter Donaldson. He threw eight innings, picking up a win and a save, allowing no earned runs on only two hits. Kevin Brantley went 12-27 and scored eight runs and Cory Cremonese drove in eight runs over the tournament.
SWFL 16u took home the 16u title, beating Florida Burn Orange 5-4 in nine innings in Monday afternoon’s championship game. SWFL led the game 3-0 before a four run Burn rally in the bottom of the fifth gave them the lead. SWFL tied it in the 6th as Donovan Petrey singled to drive home Drew Freedman and won it with a run in the top of the 9th as Petrey scored on a sacrifice fly by Joey Howes.
Three SWFL pitchers combined to hold the talented Burn offense at bay, Thaddeus Ward threw four shutout frames, Matt Zino contributed with two solid inning of relief, and Luke Rolland picked up the win as he went three innings allowing only a base hit.
SWFL made it to the playoffs despite losing their second game of tournament 4-3 to the Jacksonville Royals. Each of their four playoff games was tight with three one run and one two run game.
SS Drew Freedman took home MVP honors, he went 10-24 for the tournament, including 2-4 with two runs scored in the title game, scoring nine runs total and providing stellar defense at shortstop.
Florida Burn Orange RHP Brandon Elmy was named Most Valuable pitcher. He threw six shutout innings, allowing no hits while walking one and striking out seven.