The Carolina Bruins 12U (pictured above) from Florence, South Carolina began its fall season this past weekend in style at the DeMarini End of Summer Global Qualifier by going 4-0 and outscoring opponents by a combined 45-16. This was the Bruins’ first tournament in the 12U age division as they were coming off a successful 11U campaign that consisted of three tournament wins and a 27-20 overall record in USSSA play.
This 12-Open division at the Global Qualifier was comprised of 13 teams, all of which were based in the host state except for the Augusta Storm (Georgia). Squads represented three different classifications: AA, AA and Major – the Bruins are 12-Major, one of two in the tournament. Each team played two pool games before being seeded based on record and average runs allowed. The top five squads advanced to the Gold Bracket which was a single elimination format to determine a champion. The remaining teams would compete in consolation brackets.
The Bruins slate commenced versus the Blythewood Bombers 12U whom they trounced by a 15-1 score. The mercy rule game ended in just four innings and the Bruins threw four separate pitchers each for an inning: Braden Crawley, Bryce Blackburn, Dylan Adams and Evan Frank. Manager Lee Coleman’s team followed that victory up with another blowout – 9-2 over the Shockwave Green 12U. This time four different pitchers each threw an inning: Andrew Coleman, Daniel Parker, Landyn Cribb and Weston Byrd.
After pool play the Bruins earned the third seed behind the Canes and Lexington Longhorns as both teams allowed an average of one run per game compared to 1.5 for the Bruins. They would however all qualify for the Gold Bracket along with Gator Baseball and Gameday Shockwave. The aforementioned Longhorns and Bruins would play in the first semifinal while the Canes and Gator Baseball would matchup in the second.
The Bruins posted double digit runs to advance past the Longhorns (3-1) by a 10-7 final. They received just enough quality pitching from Andrew Coleman (2 innings), Dylan Adams (1.2 IP), Bryce Blackburn (1.1 IP) and Parker and Byrd each for a frame. They would face off against the Canes in the championship as they had previously dispatched of Gator Baseball 9-0.
In the finals the Bruins flexed its offensive firepower yet again and scored 11 runs en route to an 11-6 victory to hand the Canes from Columbia its first loss of the season. Last season the Bruins next tournament was the Fall Kickoff Global Qualifier in which they won – we’ll keep an eye out for them in this year’s version over the holiday weekend.
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