WARRIORS MAKE THE ROUND OF 32 OUT OF 192 AT THE PRESTIGIOUS WWBA, NOW 26-8
The Jacksonville Warriors became one of only 32 teams -- of 192 entered -- to advance to the playoffs in the largest 18-and-under baseball tournament in the world -- The Perfect Game-sponsored World Wood Bat Association Championship held at East Cobb near Atlanta.
The Warriors defeated Grand Slam USA from the Gulf Coast of Florida, the highly regarded East Cobb Patriots, the pitching-rich Minnesota Stars and one of the top 50 ranked teams in the country -- Richmond, Va. -- to advance to the playoffs. The only pool round loss came to Upstate, South Carolina in a game that no longer mattered.
Once in the field of 32, the Warriors drew the defending champion Florida Bombers -- currently the top-ranked 18-and-under team in the nation -- and were eliminated 6-1. The Bombers have won three of the last four WWBA events and had advanced to the semi-finals of this one at this writing. The Warriors are now 26-8 on the season.
Warriors' starting pitchers Frank Ambrosino, now 6-0 overall, and Kyle Webb and closer Shaun LeClaire all went 1-0 in the tournament -- LeClaire also notched a save. Darryl Barnes beat Grand Slam USA but lost to the Bombers. Connor Hitchingham took the loss to Upstate, S.C.
Offensively, Chris Carter led the way with six hits in the tournament, followed by five each from Jimmy Appleby and Hitchingham and four apiece from David Lee and Josh McCray. Appleby drove in five runs, including a towering three-run home run in the seventh inning to beat Minnesota. McCray, Carter and Steve Brock all knocked in four.
The Warriors, after playing 11 games in 11 days, now have nine days off before beginning play in The Perfect Game Metal Bat Championship in Fort Myers July 14.