The Charlotte Megastars 14U (pictured) boosted its tournament resume immensely by winning the Beast of the East Select30 Super NIT this past weekend in North Carolina. The Megastars went 6-0 overall and outscored opponents by a total of 69-20, including an 11-1 title game thrashing of the Battalion by Under Armour.
Manager Jeff McNeely’s team was one of 17 total squads to vie for this respected championship which attracted teams from four different states: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. The first round pool play phase required each team play two games before being seeded into a single-elimination bracket competition.
The Megastars got to tee off against two AA teams, quite a step down in competition from their Major classification and it certainly showed. They first beat up on OTK King 18-6 then played a much closer came against the CBC Baseball Club, 8-4. Alex Rosen started on the mound and pitched four quality innings for the Megastars before Alexander Woody threw the final frame.
The Megastars were one of five teams to traverse the first part of the Super NIT 2-0. They were awarded the fifth seed based on average runs allowed (5.0) behind the WV Gamers, Battalion by Under Armour and Rockies Bullard.
In bracket play, the Megastars had to win four consecutive games (all in one day) to hoist their second-consecutive USSSA tournament trophy. The day began against the Maroon Crush Baseball another AA team from Virginia. They put up quite a fight and pushed the Megastars – narrowly losing 3-2. Credit to Cole Hart (3 IP) and Caden Ryan (2 IP) who were determined to help their team advance.
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In the quarterfinals the Megastars played its first Major-classified team, SBA (NC), and had little trouble. They won 9-5 behind some timely hitting and pitching from William Bryant who guided the Charlotte-based team to victory by throwing five effective innings.
The semifinals had the making of an excellent matchup with the WV Games (#1 seed after pool play) squaring off with the Megastars. However, it was all one-sided. The boys from North Carolina absolutely dismantled the Gamers 20-2 and rode a wave of momentum into the championship game. The Megastars won the fourth and final game of the day in unceremonious fashion, another run-rule shortened tilt. Justin Smith kept the Battalion, who had an 11-4 overall record, stymied all day pitching four outstanding innings.
This was the Megastars second USSSA title this month and are now 8-0-1 in their last 9 games, including a 13-3-1 overall record. In terms of power rankings, USSSA has them placed seventh in the state, a ranking that can be improved upon with more Major competition.