Ga. — In a tournament loaded with talented teams, Team Georgia 17u
is a diamond in the rough. Through four games at the PG/WWBA 18u
National Championship, they sit atop the Pool C standings with a
perfect 4-0 record, having outscored their opponents 43-3.
been a combination of good pitching and really good team defense,”
Team Georgia Coach, Chris McRaney, said. “When we have gotten in
trouble, either the defense has made a big play or the pitcher has
gotten a big strikeout or ground ball. And it’s been this way all
year. We’ve allowed four runs or less in 40 of our last 41 games.”
Georgia’s starting pitching has been lights-out in this tournament
specifically, allowing just one earned run on nine hits and two walks
in 19 innings, striking out 20. Right-handed pitchers Logan Elliott
(2013, Dunwoody HS, Ga.), Matthew Gorst (2013, Johns Creek HS, Ga.)
and Dustin Beggs (2012, Centennial HS, Ga.) have contributed to the
team’s starting pitching success.
Left handed pitcher Mitch Stallings (2014, The Lovett School, Ga.) pitched Sunday,
allowing just one hit while striking out five in as many innings. He
showed good command and fired 70 percent of his pitches for strikes.
felt good when I started stretching and I just carried it out onto
the mound,” Stallings said after the game. “My fastball felt
really good and I located it well. My curveball started a little
rough but came around throughout the game.”
McRaney was pleased with Stallings’ performance as well, but wants
others to know that he’s worked very hard to achieve this success.
say that Mitch has improved would be a serious understatement,” he
said. “Being a lefty obviously gives him an advantage. But if you
look at his frame and the projectability down the road, he’s going
to be really special. And he’s a competitor in every sense of the
word. He’s a fine young man and he’s going to have a lot of
options down the road.”
Harrington (2013, Central Hardin HS, Ky.) will try to extend Team
Georgia’s fantastic pitching streak on Monday against the Cape
Coral Cannons at the East Cobb Complex.
just trying to get myself mentally prepared because I’ve heard they
are a pretty good team,” Harrington said of the Cannons. “Hopefully
my fastball is on, my curveball is working well and I’ll mix in a
few change-ups, too.”
made his Perfect Game tournament debut earlier this spring at the PG
17/18u East Cobb Invitational and also pitched in the PG National
Showcase in June.
was awesome playing in the Metrodome,” Harrington said. “I got to
match up against some of the best players in the nation from my
class. I performed pretty well too, so I was pleased with it.”
limited action against high-level competition, Harrington has done
nothing but impress.
been really good this summer and he’s learning,” Coach McRaney
said. He progressively gets stronger as the game goes. I’d be
surprised if we see anything but his best tomorrow.”
is a Louisville commit, even though he has a close connection to one
of their most competitive rivals.
whole family went to Kentucky and we’re all huge Kentucky fans, but
I’m going to Louisville,” Harrington said. “Coach (Dan)
McDonald is great. The first time I walked into his office I felt
like that is the place I need to be.”
Team Georgia’s pitching has been outstanding, they have some good
hitters, too. They lit up the scoreboard with 21 runs Saturday,
thanks in large part to Brock Maxwell (2013, Lambert HS, Ga.), who
hit a double and a grand slam from the left side of the plate.
four games, Maxwell is 6-for-11 with three doubles, a home run and
seven RBI. He attributes his success at the PG/ WWBA 17u National
Championship to a wait-for-your-pitch approach, something his coaches
recently instilled in him. He’s also hitting the ball to the
opposite field, something he didn’t do in the past.
has offers to play at Georgia Tech, Auburn, Florida State and Oregon.
While he’s not yet ready to make a decision on his future, his
experience at Perfect Game events has helped prepare him for the next
level of competition.
Perfect Game events have helped a lot,” Maxwell said. “Last year
was my first time seeing anything above 85 mph, and now I’m seeing
above 90 mph here sometimes. So it’s helped me a lot and hopefully
it’ll prepare me for college.
Team Georgia might have up to a dozen future Division-I players,
Coach McRaney is focused on teaching them the right way to play.
is a great game,” he said. I’m teaching them if they play hard
and with class, great things will happen to them.”