Rawlings Velocity 14U- Peoples (pictured above) broke through this past weekend and won the Global Easter One Day World Series Qualifier by going 5-0 overall and outscoring opponents 48-17. Manager Rhett Massey’s club had entered four previous USSSA tournaments and never finished in better than third place. The boys from Mansfield, Texas are now 9-9 overall, including 6-6 In Class.
The Global Easter 1 Day Qualifier event based in Mansfield attracted 119 total teams across 15 different divisions spanning the 8U and 14U age groups. The format was fairly conventional for USSSA play as teams were required to play a two-game pool schedule, then were placed in single elimination brackets based on their seeding. The schedule was jam-packed as all action had to be completed on Saturday – prior to the holidays on Sunday. In the 14-AAA 60/90 division, there were two brackets: the top eight seeds advanced to the single elimination championship bracket while the bottom four were placed in “Bracket B.”
Rawlings Velocity began its slate versus the Fort Worth Nationals who entered the contest with a sub-.500 record. Rawlings smashed them 17-3 and proved to be title contenders at that point. Tadyn Love started on the mound and pitched two innings before giving way to Garrett Flowers and Brian Birchett for one each. Their second game of the day was a little more competitive, but Rawlings still emerged with a fairly comfortable victory. This time the victim were the Fresno Blackcats and the final score was 11-6.
Three teams were a perfect 2-0 after pool play. Joining the Rawlings Velocity squad was the Dallas Tigers West- Jones and TX Outlaws. In the quarterfinals of single elimination, Rawlings were matched up against the Paris Stallions. Velocity- Peoples registered another convincing victory, this time by the score of 9-2 over the undermanned Stallions. Will Thornhill led the way on the hill with three innings pitched and Addison Jaime recorded three outs to advance his club to the semifinals.
In the final four, Coach Massey’s team took on the Texas Stix South who beat Dallas Tigers East-Holmes 5-1 in the first round. This game was competitive for some time, but Rawlings pulled away in the end and doubled-up the Stix, 8-4. Caden Morgan pitched a complete game for the winning team to guide his squad into their first title game in 2019.
In a surprising bottom half of the bracket, the Trophy Club Bobcats took down the Frisco Blackcats 4-2 for the right to take on Rawlings Velocity. Both of these teams had won two consecutive elimination games, and would be competing in its fifth game of the day. Nevertheless the boys from the host town of Mansfield dug down deep and prevailed with a 3-2 win and their first title this year.
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