The weather played a major factor in North Carolina at this past weekend’s Beast of the East Select30 Super NIT. Games were rained out on Saturday across all six age groups which caused abbreviated pool play on Friday and a packed schedule for single-elimination bracket competition Sunday.
Despite the uncooperative weather, there was some great baseball played and some notable highlights. Three repeat champions were crowned in Charlotte: the Park Sharon Nationals (9U), Minion (12U) and Canes NC-Gallaher (13U).
Out of the three divisions, the 12-Major had the most teams competing with 22! Minion (pictured above with the tournament banner) dominated the field which is nothing new for this group. They won 6 games over the weekend outscoring opponents by a total of 57-5. This was their fourth consecutive Beast of the East USSSA Championship and sixth SuperNIT title. That’s an amazing stretch of baseball.
Minion played four games on Sunday in bracket competition, shutting out three of its opponents. First up was 5 Star LKN 12U 12-0, then the Carolina Bruins 17-0 before being tested against the Carolina Rockies 12U, 5-3. They even blanked their title game opponent, Park Sharon Nationals, 8-0.
Minion 12U carried a reputation of a prolific offense into this Super NIT, but it was the strength and depth of their pitching staff that led them to victory. In the 6 games, 7 total pitchers were used to navigate 28 innings of play. The staff faced 111 batters and struck out nearly half – 51 in all.
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They yielded just 12 hits and 9 walks throughout the weekend – what a performance.
The inclement weather allowed for just five total pool play games to be completed last Friday in this 11 team 13U Major division. The eventual champions, Canes NC-Gallaher, won their initial contest against Team 24 Gamecocks, 10-2 before having to wait until Sunday to resume action.
The Cary, North Carolina based Canes-Gallaher first played Rock Solid 13U (AAA) in a tight 3-2 game before advancing to the semifinals against the Canes-Haire. This was another close, but high-scoring affair, with the eventual-champs prevailing 10-8.
In the finals against the Knights Prime (NC), the Canes found an easier time of it, blanking their competition 9-0. The Canes-Gallaher now have a two tournament winning streak in USSSA play and a perfect 10-0 overall record.
At the 9U Major level, the Park Sharon Nationals (NC) boosted its overall USSSA record to 28-2-1 (5-1-1 In Class) with a perfect 5-0 run in Charlotte. They dominated opponents, outscoring them by a total of 54-8. The closest game they played based on run differential was a bracket matchup with the Carolina Red Sox-Jones, 8-2.
The Park Sharon Nationals have won seven out of eight USSSA tournaments entered dating back to last September’s Touch ‘Em All Classic.