The YETI Baseball Club Crawdads 14U (pictured above with 13U) kept its outstanding season going this past weekend at the Austin Super NIT by posting a 4-2 overall record and winning its second consecutive USSSA title. Manager Josh Sanders’ team lost its two pool games by one and two runs respectively before rallying to win four straight elimination games and hoist the trophy.
The Austin Super NIT was one of the largest youth baseball events this past weekend. It attracted over 200 teams ranging from the 7U to 14U age divisions and across several different skill classifications. The 14-Major 60/90 division fielded a group of 10 teams – all from the host state. The teams were matched up for a random two game pool play schedule then were seeded based on overall record and average runs allowed. This all preceded a single elimination bracket on Sunday.
The YETI Baseball Club Crawdads got off to a tough start versus the Canes Southwest Scrappers (who are 45-8 overall). They dropped the opening game 5-4 despite two solid efforts on the mound from Jacob Lemann (3 innings) and Patrick Collopy (1.2 IP). Sanders’ team’s rough day continued versus their younger program-mates the 13U version of the Crawdads. They lost 4-2 but starter Blake Peterson was great for four innings on the mound. This didn’t set up the 14U Crawdads well for success in the bracket round as they were winless and seeded eighth.
Undeterred the 14U Crawdads began play on Sunday with their tournament on the line versus the Texas USA Baseball 14U who was 27-27 on the season. In the first round (or play-in game) they downed the boys from San Antonio 3-2 behind some excellent defense and the pitching of Michael Ledsome for four innings. In the quarterfinals their next opponent was even more challenging – the SA Angels who was the top seed and only allowed one run through two games. This is where the upset of the tournament occurred.
The Crawdads took down the top-seeded Angels 1-0 as Benjamin Merriman threw 7 shutout innings for the winning side to carry them to victory. This triumph really provided the Crawdads with serious momentum as they headed into their third game of the day – the semifinals.
In the semis they took on the Canes Southwest- Solomon who was fresh off a 10-0 drubbing of LBC Central in the quarterfinals. YETI was able to quiet the Canes’ bats and double them up on the scoreboard, 8-4. The stars on the mound for the winning team this game was Jacob Lemann (5 innings) and Aiden Bennett (1 IP). As fate would have it, the two YETI Crawdads teams would square off in the championship game as a rematch to their pool play tilt.
The 13U team earned the 6th seed and had to win two games in the same day to that point while the 14U squad had an additional game under their belt. Nevertheless the older Crawdads gained some revenge on their younger counterparts and won 3-0 to hand the 13U team its sixth loss in 44 games.
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