EMERSON, Ga. – Heading into week three of the WWBA National Championship series, the 17u WWBA National Championship takes center stage at Perfect Game Park South at LakePoint in Emerson, GA. The event starts on Friday, July 4th and concludes on Friday, July 11th. The event will also take place at a variety of local high schools and parks.
This marks the 12th edition of the 17u WWBA event. The field is set for 304 teams, which are up from last year’s event, which saw 270 teams. Teams from 29 states including Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Tennessee, New York, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Connecticut will come to North Georgia in an effort claim a Perfect Game title. Two teams from Ontario, Canada will also be in attendance.
Last year saw the Orlando Scorpions Prime beat FTB Chandler 3-2 in the championship game.
FTB Chandler comes into the tournament with the most players ranked in the Perfect Game rankings with 6. They are led by a standout 2015 class. Those players include Ryan Mountcastle (No. 16, UCF commit), Jonathan India (No. 27, Florida commit), Mitchell Hansen (No. 29, Stanford commit), Juan Hillman (No. 34, UCF commit), and Wyatt Cross (No. 48, North Carolina commit). They also have an impressive 2016 grad in Herbert Iser (No. 5, uncommitted).
The Elite Squad 17u Prime also has an impressive roster. They are led by 2015 grad Daniel Reyes (No. 5, Florida commit). They also have a strong 2016 class led by Anthony Molina (No. 2, Miami commit) and Gregory Veliz (No. 4, Miami commit).
The Evoshield Canes 17u also come in with a talented roster with three highly ranked players. They are led by 2015s Mike Nikorak (No. 3, Alabama commit), Ashe Russell (No. 7, Notre Dame commit) and Beau Burrows (No. 10, Texas A&M commit).
The All-American Prospects and CBA Marucci have their share of talent in the 2015 class. The Prospects are led by Kyle Tucker (No. 15, Florida commit) and Thomas Szapucki (No. 18, Florida commit). CBA comes in with Kyle Molnar (No. 13, UCLA commit) and Chris Betts (No. 25, Tennessee commit) on their roster.
Chandler World and the Easton Rockets are two teams that participated in the 17u WWBA Elite Round Robin. They should be closely watched because of their high-profile players. Chandler has standout players in 2015s Devin Davis (No. 24, Loyola Marymount commit) and Greg Pickett (No. 26, uncommitted). The Rockets have two big right-handed flame-throwers on their roster in 2015s Triston McKenzie (No. 40, Vanderbilt commit) and Austin Smith (No 41, Florida Atlantic commit).
The Elite Baseball Training-Chicago 2016 team and the Houston Banditos Black are also two teams to watch out for. Elite Baseball Training is led by 2016 standouts Anthony Holubecki (No. 20, Notre Dame commit) and Drake Fellows (No. 23, Vanderbilt commit). The Banditos Black has talent in the 2015 class in Ryan Cole McKay (No 8, LSU commit) and Kody Clemens (No. 43, Texas commit).
Two programs who have historically done very well in Perfect Game events are back to claim a 17u WWBA title. The San Diego Show and the Scorpions 2016 Prime have a wealth of talent on their rosters. The Show are led by 2015 standout Drew Finley (No. 46, Southern California commit) who has already been selected to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic on August 10 at Petco Park in San Diego. They also have a very talented 2016 player in Mickey Moniak (No. 22, UCLA commit). The Scorpions are led by a talented 2016 class including Cole Ragans (No. 6, FSU commit) and Drew Mendoza (No. 11, FSU commit).
The Tri-State Arsenal Showcase 1 and Twelve have talented players. Tri-State is led by 2015 grad John Aiello (No. 11, Wake Forest commit) and 2016 grad Jason Groome (No. 14, uncommitted). Twelve is led by 2015s Ryan Johnson (No. 9, TCU commit) and Luken Baker (No. 28, TCU).
Three local teams from Georgia come in with rosters that will surely have scouts watching. HP Maldonado, the Georgia Roadrunners, and Team Elite Roadrunners will try to keep the National Championship crown in the state. HP Maldonado comes in with two 2015s that should be watched in Cornelius Randolph (No. 17, Clemson commit) and Tristin English (No. 37, Georgia Tech commit). The Georgia Roadrunners are led by 2015 grad Brandt Stallings (No. 23, Georgia Tech commit) and 2016 grad Seth Beer (No. 7, uncommitted). Team Elite Roadrunners are led by 2015 grad Jahmai Jones (No. 6, UNC commit) and 2016 grad Jonathan Gettys (No. 13, uncommitted).
Some other notable 2015s that will be in attendance this week include Nicholas Shumpert (No. 14, Kentucky commit) from the Prospects National Team, Hogan Harris (No. 20, Louisiana-Lafayette commit) from Marucci 17u Trosclair, Kep Brown (No. 30, uncommitted) from the Atlanta Blue Jays 17u, Alonzo Jones (No. 32, Vanderbilt commit) from East Cobb Baseball, and Christifer Andritsos (No. 45, Oklahoma commit) from Houston Kyle Chapman.
Some other notable 2016s include Riley Pint (No. 8, uncommitted) from Mac-n-Seitz Foster, Jeff Belge (No. 16, St. Johns commit), and T.J. Collett (No. 24, Kentucky commit) from Lids Indiana Bulls Black.