Perfect Game High School is honored to crown the American Heritage Patriots as the 2012 Perfect Game High School National Champions.
The Patriots finished the year 28-4 and won the FHSAA 5A champion with a 9-0 win over Ponte Vedra.
Coached by former MLB outfielder Bruce Aven, the Patriots used a deep pitching staff and star studded offense to finish third at the National High School Invitational in Cary, NC and ended the season on a twelve game winning streak.
The Patriots impressive performance in North Carolina, beating Alabama 6A champ Oxford, and Georgia power Brookwood before losing a 1-0 9th inning classic to Los Angeles power Harvard-Westlake vaulted them toward the top of the rankings.
From then on, Heritage dominated, winning their final seven games against Miami area foes before taking down Suncoast, Pompano Beach and Estero before taking on #1 Tampa Jesuit and RHP Lance McCullers.
In that game, RF Brandon Diaz hit a dramatic three-run 8th inning home run off of John Killichowski to break a scorless tie and Shaun Anderson shut the door to complete a two hit shutout as Heritage shocked the previously unbeaten Tigers.
Heritage won the title the very next day behind a dominant pitching performance by Alex Seibold and a grand slam by Zach Collins.
The Patriots pitching staff was strong all year with Anderson and Seibold being joined in the rotation by fellow high division one recruits Domenic Mancini and Brandon Diaz.
Anderson is a Florida commit who will be back to lead the staff in 2013, Seibold, Mancini, and Diaz will move on to collegiate baseball, Seibold to Florida International, Mancini to Florida Atlantic, and Diaz to Stetson.
The bats were equally as talented with senior SS Brandon Lopez, a Miami commit and Blue Jays 34th rounder leading the way, surrounded by one of the most talented offenses in the country.
Senior CF Gabriel Aurrecoechea and LF Esteban Puerta were key contributors during the championship run as were star juniors Zach Collins, Danny Zardon, and Brandon Diaz.
Aurrecoechea and Puerta will join Domenic Mancini at Florida Atlantic.
The future is bright for the Patriots as Collins, Zardon, Anderson, and Diaz are some of the top rising seniors in the country and they will be joined by talented underclassmen in OF Brandon Vicens, OF Kevin Williams, 2B Jose Natera, C Edgar Badaraco, and IF Magglio Ordonez.
Check back later Tuesday as the final Perfect Game Top 100 rankings will be unveiled.