By Colby Edds
Wears Valley Park, Pigeon Forge, TN- It was far from your storybook baseball weather of “sunny and 75" at 9am on Saturday morning. Still yet, NET Elite was able to kick off their Perfect Game youth baseball season, and brisk weather and howling winds did not keep the competition away from our tournament (10&12u). As pool play continued throughout the day, we saw some great games, most notably a matchup in the 10u division between the Maryville Ironmen and the Knoxville Stars, a game in which the Stars pulled out by a count of 5-4. The eventual #1 seed, Raider Baseball, was busy making a big statement, winning 15-0 over AC Adrenaline and 12-2 over Diamond Simcox Orange team.
Also on Saturday, we enjoyed more high quality baseball from 12u division. A couple of the notable games were between the Tri County A's and East TN Crusaders Blue, where the A's prevailed with a 4-1 win, on their way to a 2-0 day and #1 seed on Sunday. The TN Bomb Squad squeaked out an 8-7 victory over the TN Nationals. Our #2 seed came to be Exposure Silver, but it was no easy victory for our friends from Chattanooga. They pulled away and managed a 6-1 win over the TN Bash and 9-4 W over a talented Diamond Simcox Blue team.
As Championship Sunday began, there were some heated games right off the bat in the 1st rd of the 10u division. Knoxville Tribe won 8-5 over the East TN Yankees to make it to the championship matchup against the Raider Baseball who narrowly escaped with a 2 run win over the Knoxville Stars on their way to becoming the 10u Gold Bracket champions of the weekend. Just after that, Diamond Simcox Orange compiled a total of 15 runs to win the Silver Bracket championship game vs the Maryville Ironmen. In 12u, the 1st round was just as exciting as advertised. Exposure Silver came out on top of an 8 inning thriller over the East TN Crusaders. Over on field 3, the Tri County A's pulled out a 3-2 victory over Diamond Simcox Blue on a walk off sacrifice fly by George Davis. But in the Championship game between 2 teams powered by the momentum of previous wins, Exposure Silver prevailed 3-1 over the A's.
We also have also chosen our "Elite Eight" for the Smokies Blast, which is not a complete list of top performers or in any specific order:
Braiden Rose- Exposure Silver
Ty Vaughn- Exposure Silver
Ethan Simpson- Diamond Simcox Blue
Brendan Harris- Tri County A's
Brodie Johnston- Raider Baseball
Cooper Jones- Raider Baseball
Eben Hansen- Knoxville Stars
Trevan Myers- East TN Yankees