Baseball U had 10 states represented on two teams during the 2011 Perfect Game WWBA Underclass World Championships in Fort Myers, Florida.
It was an experience like most of the young high school juniors and sophomores had never experienced in their short baseball experiences thus far. The Baseball U organization had two teams represented in the event and each team played very well during their time in the somewhat sunny Florida weather.
The Baseball U Texas Orange team went 2-1 in bracket play losing to only the FTB Mizuno team from Kissimmee, Florida who rolled out 4 pitchers all of whom threw over 86MPH. In that game the team was hanging tough until the 7th when FTB Mizuno broke the game open with a 6 run 7th.
In the teams opening game they fought back and won an 8-4 decision against Long Shots Baseball from Chicago. A big 5 run 6th inning broke the game open. In the team’s final bracket game every batter in the starting lineup reached base and the three U pitchers combined for a 7 inning shutout by winning 7-0 against the ABA Braves from Georgia.
The Baseball U Black team went 3-0 in bracket play while on their way to the 12 seed in the playoffs. The team was compiled of some of the top underclass players around. In bracket play they outscored their opponents by a 19-6 margin.
The Baseball U Black entered the round of 32 by playing in the MLB Spring Training stadium of the Boston Red Sox. Players sat on the home side where some of the most famed Boston players sit every year. The game was a well played defensive battle with both pitchers getting themselves out of jams during the game. The opponent was Team Elite White the organizations top team that has too become a national name in travel baseball. The playoffs were shortened to 5 innings because of rain from the night prior and it was all tied at 0-0 entering the extra inning playoff rule. The playoff rule has the teams load the bases with 1 out. Baseball U forced two pop ups to get out of the inning by giving up no runs. It was now Baseball U’s chance to plate a run on the scoreboard. In a pre-huddle prior to the start the inning the coaches agreed to try a squeeze on the leadoff batters 2nd pitch. With the count 0-1 a perfect bunt down the third base line went untouched as the U scored the game’s only run advancing to the round of final 16 in the same stadium.
Baseball U scored first taking a 1-0 lead against Palm Beach PAL a team that had won the 16U and 18U WWBA tournaments during the year. Baseball U held the lead until a 2-2 fastball was hit for a triple tying the game at 1 apiece before a drawn in infield scored the go ahead run. In top of the last inning Baseball U had two runners on with two out. A ball was hit to short right field and the Palm Beach second baseman made a game saving diving catch to end the game sending the Baseball U Black team home.
A 9th place finish with 144 team tournament is nothing to be ashamed about. Either is the Texas Orange teams 2-1 bracket play record.
Baseball U has grown each year and draws not only the best players from the tri-state area but from many states. The teams schedule in the summer and fall challenges its players against the best competition in the country. The organization is fortunate to have a Baseball U New England program that has just completed its 3rd year. The U programs now are able to help develop and showcase the top players from Maryland to Massachusetts because of the two programs.
Baseball U does not take sole credit for any player’s accolades in any way, shape or form. This is a process that is started at a young age. Baseball U only try’s and help put the finishing touches to this process in the high school years.
Those interested in the program should fill out a prospective player form for the 2012 season. Winter workouts and camps start in January.