The Scottsdale Firebirds 14U Blue (pictured above) won this past weekend’s Super Ball Bash Qualifier in Phoenix by going 3-0 overall and outscoring opponents 18-6. This was the second USSSA tournament title captured by manager Dean Symancyk’s club across the fall/winter seasons. They were previously victorious at the Cactus Classic.
The Super Ball Bash 14-Open division featured nine teams, all from the host state. The AZ Grizzlies Teal played ‘up’ from the 13-Major division to test itself against older competition while the 14U teams were a mix of Major and AAA. After a two-game pool play schedule, the top two seeds based on record and average runs allowed advanced to a single elimination final to determine a champion. This is unusual for USSSA competition. Normally the top four would make it to bracket play, but the Super Ball Bash cut right to the title game.
In its first game of the weekend the Firebirds took on the aforementioned AZ Grizzlies who put up quite a fight. Chase Medress was the star of the game for the Firebirds who won 5-2 behind a complete game seven innings effort from Medress on the mound. Not only did he lead his team to victory, but Medress kept the Grizzlies’ run total down, a key factor in tiebreaker metrics.
The next pool game against Creek 14U – Black from Queen Creek was a nail biter for the Firebirds. They were tested against this AAA team, but would prevail 3 to 2. Symancyk used two pitchers in this game as Timmy Moriarty threw the majority (4 innings) but Jack Peppler also played an integral role. He stepped up and recorded nine outs to ensure a victory and perfect 2-0 record.
At the conclusion of pool play the Firebirds were narrowly awarded the top overall seed and a berth in the finals. It was razor-close for the second seed between the AZ Thunder Baseball and AZWE Easton 14U. Both were 2-0 and had identical 2.5 average runs allowed marks. The separating factor was that the Thunder had a better average differential figure (8.0 vs. 5.5) than Easton and moved on to the finals.
In the championship game the Firebirds flexed its offensive muscle plating 10 runs over the AAA AZ Thunder from Anthem, AZ. They allowed just two runs, identical results from the first two games of the tournament.
The Firebirds are now 9-3-1 overall and riding a four-game winning streak. They really feast on AAA pitching as the Firebirds average over eight runs per game against that level of competition while only allowing three and a half. They’ll look to step up against In Class competition as the season continues, they currently sit at 2-3 against those squads.
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