By Colby Edds
MARYVILLE, TN - Sunshine, baseball, and a four day holiday weekend, what a great way to kick off the showcase tournament season, as NET Elite opened up the gates for 2016 on Memorial Day weekend in Knoxville, TN. I would like to thank all who participated in making this tournament an ultimate success!
Now for a little recap of this past weekend’s action:
The 14u division was a very strong division with 6 very talented teams grinding it out to the very last pitch. As pool play winded down, the Average Joes pulled through with 2 close victories (7-4 over Diamond Simcox Orange and 5-4 over Exposure) to finish 2-0. The Tennessee Prospects breezed through to 2-0 as well with wins over RBI Tri Cities and Diamond Simcox Blue.
In the early games, there was some tight action between RBI Tri Cities and Exposure, where Exposure came out on top by a count of 3-2. Moving forward to the championship matchup, we saw the Tennessee Prospects vs Average Joes, a battle of the unbeaten teams. The Prospects overpowered the Joes and prevailed to a 5-3 win.
The 15u division was the largest division of the whole weekend, and oddly enough there were 3 ties during pool play, 2 of which were the first 2 games of the whole weekend. At Catholic High School the East Tennessee Yankees tied the Georgia Outlaws 4-4 and over at Maryville College the Knoxville Blue Jays tied the Tri Cities Titans 4-4. One notable team from pool play action was Crosshit Black, as they steam rolled to two victories over Arsenal Baseball and Georgia Force. Also finishing 2-0 were Crosshit Red, Colonels Baseball and Team America. On Sunday, though, the real story was Team Demarini and how they persevered to a Championship win with 4 wins on in the day, a very rare and impressive feat to accomplish.
Then in the Silver bracket at Heritage High School, Diamond Blue fought their way to 3 tough wins over the Tri Cities Titans (8-4), Wave Baseball (4-0) and their counterpart Diamond Simcox Orange (11-4) to take home the Silver Bracket championship.
In 16u pool play, there were a few lopsided scores to start off the tournament, but that did not continue in the action on Championship Sunday. Knox New Balance and RBI Red Stitch 108 both had a very impressive Sunday, as they both made it to the championship game after finishing in the lower half of the bracket from Saturday’s results. Red Stitch had to play 3 games to make it to the championship game where they seemed to run out of steam. Knox New Balance was too much to handle, and they came out on top 4-0.
Congratulations to all of our Champions once again!
14u- Tennessee Prospects, 15u Gold-Team Demarini, 15u Silver- Diamond Blue, 16u- Knox New Balance.
Top recorded pitch speeds from each division:
14u- Jared Dickey, Tennessee Prospects – 84 mph
15u- Nick Letzgus, Chattanooga Fury- 85 mph
16u- Cam Hill, Knoxville Blue Sox - 86 mph
Best Pop Times from the weekend:
Dalton Cantrell, Team Demarini- 2.16
Best home to first time of the weekend:
Keller, Showtime Sports Academny, 4.26