By Colby Edds
Chattanooga, TN- 130 teams and 26 ballparks/complexes is what it took create NET Elite’s largest tournament of the summer. An event that spread from Sevierville, TN all the way to Dalton, GA, competitive games, fun filled environment, and beautiful warm weather seemed to be the common themes of the weekend. In action this weekend were 10u, 11u, 12u, and 14-18u. Here are how things played out through the tournament:
The 10u division was played at the beautiful Warner Park in downtown Chattanooga and began on Saturday morning with eXposure Black taking down Irish Baseball Club 9-3. Then later in the day eXposure pulled out a tight one vs Legends Baseball 4-3, to make it to 2-0 and earn a #1 seed for Sunday. Another notable game from the weekend was the South Forsyth Giants holding off a strong Young Guns team 11-9 to also make it to 2-0 and take the #2 seed. During bracket play, oddly enough, the games seemed a little more lopsided. The Young Guns made an impressive run on Sunday taking down Bats and winning a rematch against the South Forsyth Giants before running out of gas against eventual champion Diamond Simcox Orange who won that game 16-1 and then blanked eXposure Black 7-0 to take home the championship.
In 11u, there was definitely not a shortage of runs throughout the tournament, as nearly every game seemed to have double digit scoring. Local favorites, Raider Baseball powered their way to a 23-17 win over East Side Surge before falling 10-8 to the Sumter Co. Bulldogs. Sumter Co, eXposure, and Head First Athletics all battled to a 2-0 record. eXposure and Sumter Co. both won with ease to make it to the championship match-up where Sumter Co. came out swinging and managed to hold off eXposure and take the NET Elite PG State Title to Middle Tennessee.
The 12u division never seems to disappoint us, and this past weekend was no different as it was once again one of the most competitive divisions in the whole tournament. 3 teams finished 2-0 and 6 finished at 1-1 after Saturday. So in Sunday’s bracket play there were no true favorites and all 4 first round games were won by 3 runs or less. Diamond White took down their in-town rival Diamond Simcox Blue 5-4 before falling to the Wilson Vols 8-0 to make it to the championship game vs Diamond USA. This was a very tight game in which each team seemed to grab momentum, but the Wilson Vols were able to pull it out 8-7.
14u was a solid division made up of 20 teams who played at all over Chattanooga and North Georgia. Upstate Select ended up taking the #1 seed after defeating Phoenix Baseball Cardinal 10-0 and RBI Tri Cities 7-4. There were 7 other teams to finish 2-0 as well that rounded out the upper portion of the bracket. To start off that bracket play in the first round, competition was tight as all 4 games were decided by 1 run. But it was the Jackson Warriors and North Georgia Bombers who had the depth and stamina to make it to the championship game, which was held at the beautiful Coahulla Creek High School. The Bombers jumped out to an 8-2 lead, before Jackson silenced the crowd by putting up 7 runs in the 5th inning to take the lead before letting it slip away and eventually falling to the determined Bombers 10-9.
The 15u State Championship was also a Perfect Game Super 25 regional, which gave away a free bid to the National Tournament in Ft. Myers, FL in mid-July. With so much at stake, we had a massive turnout and a total of 38 teams from all over the southeast who were looking to compete for the title and the free bid. The games started on Friday morning and continued until late Sunday afternoon. The teams were separated into 7 pools, which meant that the 7 pool winners and 1 wild card team would advance to Sunday’s bracket play. The 8 teams to advance after a long 2 days of baseball were: TN Steel, Kentucky Prospects, Middle TN Outlaws Gold, East TN Crusaders, Danville Mustangs, Yalobusha Giants (Blue), Team Demarini, and Alabama Legends. Yalobusha took down the Alabama Legends 5-4 and the Kentucky Prospects defeated Team Demarini 7-5 to make the semifinals and the Crusaders and Danville Mustangs both won their games to put them one win away from the championship. Little stood in the way of the Kentucky Prospects or the Crusaders as the Prospects beat Yalobusha 13-2, and the Crusaders also won big over Danville 12-1. Finally, the championship game was here and held at AT&T Stadium (home of The Chattanooga Lookouts). The Kentucky Prospects kept their wheels rolling and took down the East Tennessee Crusaders 7-1 and won the PG Super 25 Deep South Regional!
We really appreciate everyone who made it down for the tournament, and we hope you had a blast just as we did! We look forward to the rest of the season and we will see everyone at our next event: the Old Hickory Championship.