Swarm Baseball 13U Black (pictured above) from Scottsdale, Arizona, won its first USSSA tournament of the fall baseball season this past weekend at the Toys for Tots Qualifier in Peoria. The 13-Open division was full of talent as it consisted of 20 teams – the largest of the 14 total divisions. Swarm Baseball went a perfect 4-0 during the tournament and only allowed a total of five runs the entire weekend while scoring 38.
Over 100 teams competed in this Toys for Tots Qualifier and the large majority of the teams in this division were either classified as Major or AAA (and all came from the host state). Squads were organized into four pools of five teams to compete in a two-game first round pool play. Based on record and average runs allowed the second round was single elimination bracket battle. The top four made it into the Majors Bracket while the second eight were placed in a AAA Gold Bracket followed by a Silver Bracket.
Swarm Baseball Black was in Pool B along with the AZ Athletics Orange, DeMarini Sandlot 13U, Bad News for You Bears 13U Red and Scottsdale Firebirds 13U Blue. The Swarm first took on DeMarini Sandlot (AAA) from Chandler. Manager John Casale’s team would top the challengers 9-3 as Jett Cornell led the way on the mound with three innings pitched followed by Johnny Casale with 2 IP and Adan Hoyos with 1. The next game was a 15-0 blowout of the Bad News for You Bears by the Swarm. It ended in a three-inning mercy rule and the winning side only used one pitcher, James Leibmann.
Swarm Baseball Black narrowly won its group because of a secondary tiebreak metric. They had an identical record (2-0) and average runs allowed (1.5) with the AZ Athletics 13U Orange, but a slightly higher average differential (7.0 to 6.5)
In the Majors bracket, the winners of each of the four pools squared off to determine a champion. In a cruel twist of fate Swarm Baseball Black had to play their program-mates, Swarm Baseball Gold in the semifinals. Gold won Pool C with a 2-0 record and average runs allowed of 1. This however didn’t turn out to be much of a contest. Black won comfortably against the Gold 11-1 behind the excellent pitching of James Leibmann who threw a complete game.
Velocity BBA took down the West Valley Knights 9-1 in the other semifinal and was also 3-0 at the time of the championship game on Sunday. Velocity, from Goodyear, AZ, entered the Qualifier with an 9-1-1 record and was a tough test but fell short against Swarm Baseball. The boys from Scottsdale prevailed 3-1 to improve its record to 6-2 in USSSA play. This was their first test against a fellow Major classified team, a good indication of a team’s quality.
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