Tennessee Elite and Franklin Elite enjoyed a fantastic start at the University of Memphis Showcase. Each team went a perfect 3-0 through the first full day of games, guaranteeing itself a spot in bracket play today as the tourney concludes.
There will be two champions crowned -- one in each pool. The top four finishers in each pool will advance to bracket play.
Tennessee Elite beat the Tennessee Heat 7-2, with a sound defense a cornerstone of the victory. The Elite closed their Saturday by beating the Eagles 3-2. Lee Derryberry drove home the winning run in the fifth inning on a single. Brandt Bramlett was the man on the mound, going the distance and allowing zero earned runs. The Elite won their tournament opener on Friday as well, topping the Diamond Dawgs by a 6-1 margin. After taking a 2-1 lead on catcher Ben Smith's single in the fourth inning, the Elite scored four more in the sixth with Nathan Lewis, Will Deaton and Taylor Sipes all driving in runs. Eli Hammonds worked the final two innings against the Diamond Dawgs to post a save. Taylor Sipes started for the Elite, allowing one run on one hit and two walks during five innings.
Franklin Elite scored runs in bunches on Saturday competing in Pool B, racking up 17 total runs while defeating Florence Elite and MJ Sting Baseball Club. On Friday, Franklin Elite topped the Lombard Lightning 3-2 despite getting outhit by a 3-2 margin.
The Lightning bounced back nicely on Saturday, winning their two games by a combined score of 16-6. Nathan Bertuca, the hard-luck loser on the mound against Franklin Elite, drove in three runs in a 4-0 triumph over the CAAK Wildcats. Alec Michaelson went the distance on the mound for CAAK, firing a three-hitter while posting nine strikeouts. The Lightning also bested 16U Cross Hit 10-6, scoring four runs in the first and staying in front the rest of the way.
Also in Pool B, 16U Cross Hit defeated the Florence Elite 8-3. Both teams scored three runs in the first inning but Cross Hit posted a shutout the rest of the way.
The championship winning teams at the University of Memphis Showcase were, quite frankly, elite.
Franklin Elite claimed the 17/18U division title, while Tennessee Elite took the crown in the 15/16U division. The Franklin Elite went undefeated through the entire tournament, while the Tennessee Elite lost just once during pool play.
Pitching and defense carried Franklin Elite to its title. In bracket play, Franklin Elite defeated 16U Cross Hit in the semifinals and Lombard Lightning in the finals, winning both games by a combined margin of 11-0.
Tennessee Elite lost its final game in pool play to start its Sunday but bounced back nicely by shutting out the Tennessee Heat 2-0 in the semifinals, then topping the Jackson Warriors 7-4 in the championship final.