Wilson Sandlot Baseball 14U from Chandler, Arizona completed an outstanding three-day tournament run last week at the USSSA Winter Nationals NIT by going 6-0 and taking home the title. Manager Rob Gorrell’s team outscored opponents by a combined 45 to 5 total throughout the three-site tournament in Arizona.
The 14U Major division of the Winter Nationals was comprised of eight Major-classified teams; all from the host state except for the Branditos 14U from Oklahoma. The format was such that each team was placed into one of two pools to compete in a three game round robin first phase. Then based on records and average runs allowed, every team was given a seed to then face off in a single elimination bracket. A champion would be crowned after navigating the three rounds successfully.
Wilson Sandlot Baseball was placed in Pool B along with the AZ Nationals 14 Red, All9 Baseball and the Strykers 14U. Their first opponent (and what turned out to be their toughest) was All9 Baseball from Chandler also who entered the tournament with a 7-4 record. Pitchers Josh Tiedemann (4 innings) and Robert Welch (3 innings) combined for a complete game effort to hold off a feisty All9 Team, 3-2.
Wilson Sandlot’s second game came against the AZ Nationals who was playing its first game of the tournament. Sandlot shutout the Nationals 8-0 behind the pitching performances of Cayne Killion who threw three frames, Quinn Carrier who pitched two innings and Brock Thompson who hurled the final frame. The last pool game for Wilson Sandlot was a 12-1 drubbing of the Strykers. Manager Gorrell needed to use just two pitchers to get through this run rule shortened game; Zach Wadas threw 4 innings followed by Conner Bigelow for one.
At the conclusion of pool play, Wilson Sandlot Baseball was awarded the top overall seed. The AZ Avengers were also 3-0, but they had a higher average runs allowed figure (3.33) as compared to Wilson (1.0). Moving onto single elimination bracket play, Sandlot Baseball was matched up with the out-of-staters, Branditos 14U. This was another blowout, nearly by the identical score of the game prior – 12-2. However two fresh arms were able to be used for Wilson Sandlot, Nicholas Walter for 3 innings and Landon Penney for 2 frames.
In the semifinal the favorites met AZBC 2023 who had just defeated All9Baseball 12-4 and went 1-1-1 in pool play. Again, Wilson Sandlot’s outstanding pitching and defense was the difference in the game as they prevailed 5-0 to notch its second shutout of the tournament. Player of the game honors went to Quinn Carrier who pitched six outstanding innings before giving way to Josh Tiedemann who closed it out.
This result set up a finals matchup versus the AZ Nationals Red who upset the AZ Avengers in the other semifinal, 4-2. The AZ Nationals were again not able to muster up a single run against Wilson Sandlot and lost 5-0.
This was 14U Wilson Sandlot’s first USSSA tournament this fall and winter season.
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