As promised, in our inaugural edition of the Coach's Corner, we will recap the weekend in travel baseball in the Central Valley.
As mentioned last Thursday on "The Hot Corner", the premier event of the weekend was USSSA's Central Valley Shootout that was held at Granite Park and Buchanan High School in Fresno/Clovis with teams from the Bay Area to Modesto to Bakersfield playing. First and foremost, it is great to seeing these teams come to the valley.
Well let's get right to it...How did we do with our predictions... we didn't just do ok, we nailed 5 of the 6 age divisions, not only predicting the eventual champions in those age divisions but in some instances getting the entire bracket correct! Not bad for our first time. Let's start with the youngest group...
As predicted, the 10u group was the absolute loudest group at the ballpark. With a huge outfield on field 2 at Granite Park, several in the park homeruns resulted in sustained shrieks of joy, lol. The CS Bears walked away with this bracket with Riley Spradlin being named tournament MVP.
Final CS Bears 15 , Panthers 0
In the 11u bracket we saw CD Elite go undefeated and take the ship as predicted. As we noted last week, our sleeping dog in this bracket was the W.C. Bombers and yep they were there in the end battling it out in the Championship. A great team to watch play, never give up mentality but in the end the bats from CD Elite were just too much. CD Elite's leadoff batter Dawson Lee did it all this weekend and was named tournament MVP.
Final CD Elite 14 , W.C. Bombers 6
The big question in the 12's was....will any of these boys be able to hit over the green monster in left field. Well the answer is no but Tri-County's lead-off batter, Caleb Silva, stroked one off the wall in a closely fought championship game between Play Hard and Tri-County which opened the game up for TC.
Play Hard showed exactly why they are a highly ranked majors team coming in by cruising to the championship via mercy rule in every game. Tri-County's bats were alive all weekend, however, TABU's Andre Duarte was pumping it in there at 66-68 MPH and held TC down for most of the game. TABU almost played spoiler. Tournament MVP in the 12s was Eric Meyst who's batting average for the weekend was video game like..
Final... Tri-County Baseball 11, Play Hard 5
Well here is the only bracket, the only bracket... that we got wrong. The 13s featured 7 teams with all teams being very competitive. It was the last bracket to finish late Sunday as the Championship game was a nail biter between OBF and the Cali Tigers. Yep, we missed the boat on that one...
In the end, OBF walked it off in the bottom of the 7th....but this game could have gone either way. These teams are very familiar with each other, and each time its a battle. Tournament MVP went to Joshua Barajas.
Final OBF 9, Cali Tigers 8
The 16u division featured The Crew as the heavy favorite, as predicted by us, and based on their 4 tournament wins in the last three months. But the San Joaquin Ballers obviously didn't think much of their record as these two teams squared off on Saturday in a classic game at Buchanan HS Varsity field. In the end, the Ballers took the W. But as they say, Sunday is where it counts and these two teams squared off again in the ship and as predicted The Crew prevailed this time. Tournament MVP goes to Jimmy Caldera, the kid can swing it!
Final The Crew 11, SJ Ballers 2
Well 10u baseball was definitely the loudest, whereas in 18u you can actually carry on a conversation without being interrupted with all the cheering/screaming. There was some good baseball played in this bracket but as predicted the CV Marlins were just too much... The CV Marlins take the ship over the Grizzlies.
Final CV Marlins 9, Grizzlies 1
Well there you have it. 5 out of 6 brackets predicted correctly... Once again...there was some great baseball played right here in the Valley! Make sure you make your way out to the ballpark...you won't be disappointed.
We've got a HUGE weekend coming up in the Valley. This weekend we will see Perfect Game host there first youth baseball tournament here in Fresno at Granite Park. Some of the best teams in the nation will be descending into the Valley. Secondly, Xtreme Diamond Sports & King of Kings baseball is hosting another great event in Hanford.
Be on the lookout as Central California Travel Baseball- CCTB will be predicting and projecting in its second edition of the "Hot Corner"! How will our local teams do against these powerhouse organizations in travel baseball... find out Thursday!