East Cobb Astros Qualify for Elite WS with Early Season Title | Youth1

East Cobb Astros Qualify for Elite WS with Early Season Title

The East Cobb Astros Orange (11-Major) made a strong USSSA season debut this past weekend at the President’s Day Super NIT in Orange Beach, Alabama where they went 5-0 and outscored opponents 33 to 10. Manager Andrew Newell’s team is now 6-2 overall in two tournament appearances throughout the fall and winter seasons and have qualified for this summer’s Elite World Series with this title.

The diverse field of eight teams in the 11-Major division hailed from four states: Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana and carried two designations: Major and AAA. Each squad played two pool games before being seeded on record and average runs allowed. All eight clubs would advance to a single elimination bracket phase which would transpire over one day of intense games.

The Astros’ pool schedule began on the softer side against the AAA- South Walton Hawks. They downed the Florida-based Hawks fairly easily by the final of 7-1 behind great pitching from Carson Ray (2 IP), Matthew Zachary Sharman (2 IP) and Wells Grisham (1 IP). Next up on Saturday was a test from a fellow Major classified, yet winless Traction Canes 11U Black team from Louisiana. The Astros escaped by the narrowest of margins, 5-4, and would allow the must runs in any game all tournament. The Canes bats tested pitchers Christian Starks, Vernon Woodard and Alex Espinoza Mendes. Still the Astros claimed the top seed ahead of fellow unbeaten Yalobusha Giants 2026.

The next day in the quarterfinals the No.1 seeded Astros faced a rematch against the Hawks (No.8). This time around the game was much closer and both teams displayed exemplary pitching and defense. Alex Espinoza Mendes went nearly a complete game on the mound as he threw four great innings before Vernon Woodard came in from the pen for the final outs to save a 3-1 game.

The semifinals against a fellow Georgia team, Showcase Baseball Howze, was lopsided as the boys from Marietta walked away on top – 8 to 2. Diego DeJesus made his Super NIT debut on the mound and threw three effective innings before Carson Ray pitched one frame.

The title game set up beautifully as the top two seeds and lone unbeaten teams had a chance to settle supremacy on the diamond. The Giants were 4-0 to this point and downed its elimination round opponents by the scores of 6-3 and 6-2. They were 14-0 overall and looking to extend a tournament winning streak to three.

The Astros had different plans and the game was much more one-sided than anticipated. The top seeds broke out the bats and smacked across 10 runs while continuing its excellent pitching and defense and only yielding two. The Astros-Orange are 4-2 In Class and will look to improve this mark as they have a challenging spring schedule ahead.


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