The East Texas Crush 13U (pictured) from Nacogdoches, Texas, lost the first game of the USSSA Boys of Summer Qualifier to the Texas Prospects Futures 12-0 before rattling off four consecutive victories, including a championship game triumph over the Prospects to win their first tournament this fall season. The Crush went 4-1 overall this past weekend in Longview and outscored opponents by a combined total of 33-21.
This Qualifier 13-AAA division featured nine teams, all from the Texas-North region of USSSA play. Each squad would play in a two- game Pool schedule, then was seeded based on overall record and average runs allowed. Unlike many tournaments, each team made the cutoff for the single elimination bracket stage and had a chance at the championship.
As aforementioned, the Crush got demolished in its opening game, 12-0 by the AAA classified Texas Prospects Futures but would bounce back later in the day against Marucci Elite Texas – Anderson. The Crush won 9-1 behind the pitching performances of Mitchell Ashley (2 IP), Cole Windham (2 IP) and Cermodrick Bland (1 IP).
Because of their loss and a fairly high average runs allowed (6.5), the East Texas Crush were given the sixth overall seed out of nine. Just two teams went 2-0 in Pool Play – Athletics Baseball Ebarb and Texas Hookem and were awarded the top two seeds in the bracket.
The first elimination game for the Crush came against Dugout 13U White- Lacy from Kilgore, Texas. Manager Mitch Ashley’s team had little trouble with Dugout White as they won convincingly 12-1 in a mercy rule shortened game. Pitchers Huston Dial and Peyton Bragg each completed two innings of effective work.
In the semifinals the Crush matched up versus 9 of Diamonds 13U who had defeated one of the previously unbeaten teams, Texas Hookem 7-6 in the first round. The Crush would emerge victorious by a 6-5 score behind 2.2 innings from starter Jonathon Dora and 1.1 IP by Mitchell Ashley and advance to the title game against the Prospects Futures.
The two teams from the first pool play game would meet again with the trophy on the line. This time the Crush turned the tables and won 6=2 to win its first USSSA title as a team since 2017. Last season this squad had a 16-12-1 overall record including 12-5-1 In Class. In seven tournaments they finished as runners up three times, including at the East Texas Shootout Global Qualifier.
Look for the Crush to build off this early season momentum to string together some consecutive victories in the tournaments to come. Stay logged onto Youth1.com for the best youth sports coverage.
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