XTREME BASEBALL NAVY 15U
RUNNER UP IN THE 16U FLORIDA PERFECT GAME STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
ARTICLE POSTED BY: Perfect Game News
FORT MYERS, Fla – The 16u Florida State Championships saw a bunch of fireworks in its final day. Eight teams entered Wednesday with a chance to win the title and be crowned as Florida’s best.
The Xtreme Baseball Navy had an interesting morning in their route to the championship game. Their first game was a 13-0 blowout against the Scorpions Orlando 2016 Purple. But, their semi-final matchup against the FTB Max Bats was exactly the opposite.
Down 1-0 for most of the game, Xtreme scored one run in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game into extra innings. Both teams proceeded to put up zeros for two innings. Then, in the bottom of the 10th inning, Jack Mora singled home Christian Menendez to send the Xtreme to the championship game.
The Scorpions South Underclass had a similar morning. After a convincing 6-1 victory over the SWFL 16u Navy, they were matched up against FTB Sarasota in the semi-finals. After jumping out to a 3-1 lead, FTB tied the score in the top of the fourth inning. The Scorpions responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on for a 4-3 win.
The championship game between the Scorpions and Xtreme was nothing short of a classic. In the first three innings, both teams were unable to plate a run. Then, Xtreme put up three runs in the top of the fourth and saw the Scorpions respond with two in the same inning. The Scorpions added one more in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score. Once again, the game was tied after seven innings and Xtreme was yet again faced with an extra inning game.
Neither team scored in the eighth inning as the game continued to race by. Then, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Damon Irivis singled home Trey Pearce to give the Scorpions the 4-3 win and the championship. The Scorpions finished having won an impressive five one-run games and two others by two runs. Head coach Dan Smith talked about his confidence heading into the finals because of his team’s ability to win the close ballgames.
“We played a lot of close ballgames throughout the tournament, 1-0 games and a couple 1-hit shutouts,” Smith said. “We won 4-3 in the semi-finals. I told my assistant coach before we started, “With the group we have, we are going to win this thing.” We were short some guys. We were missing about four or five players, but we ended up doing that [winning].”
The Scorpions had to wait more than thirty minutes to play the championship game because Xtreme’s semi-final game went into extra innings. They could have easily come out sluggish, but they were resilient. This championship was something that meant a lot to them.
“It’s been a long summer, and we’ve put a lot of work in and played a lot of games,” Smith said. “For us to come out on top is pretty special.”
Scorpion catcher Josh Jano picked up MVP honors for his tremendous performance throughout the week. He finished the tournament with a .435 batting average (10-23) with an RBI and six runs scored. In the championship game he went 1-4 and scored a crucial run for the team.
“It means a lot because this is my first one that I’ve had in awhile,” Jano said of winning MVP. “I just joined this team, and now they are giving me so many opportunities. So, I’m happy.”
Jano explained how his teammates were all working towards the same goal. Each of them wanted to do what they could to help the team win. As the game dragged on into extra innings, his teammates and he tried their best to grab that breakthrough run.
“Everyone just wanted it to be over, so all we were trying to do was get a big hit,” Jano said. “I think some people were trying too much, but then at the end we got it.”
Matthew Doden from Xtreme received the MV-Pitcher award for his impressive outings in the tournament. In two appearances, he worked 11 innings and allowed just one earned run. He finished with a 1-0 record and a .636 ERA.
The Xtreme Baseball Navy finished the tournament with a 7-1 record, while the Scorpions South Underclass finished a perfect 8-0.
2014 PG 16u Florida State Championship runner-up: Xtreme Baseball Navy