FORT MYERS, Fl -- Following exciting and dramatic 4-3 victories both the 18U Maroon and 17U teams will be playing on the tournaments final day and looking to capture AAU National Championships.
The 18U Maroon team earned a spot in the AAU upperclassmen National Championship game for the 4th consecutive year by defeating Tuscaloosa Baseball 4-3 at City of Palms Stadium in Ft Myers, FL. The Renegades got on the board in the bottom of the 1st when Garrett Luna delivered a 2 out double and was plated on an RBI double by Cameron Salvaggio.
Justin Holder retired 9 of the first 10 Tuscaloosa batters he faced as the Renegades took a 3-0 lead on RBI hits by Tanner Holly and Luna. Tuscaloosa cut the lead to 3-1 in the 4th but the Renegades answered in the bottom of the inning as Bryan Warhurst delivered a one out single and scored on an RBI single by Holly to extend the lead to 4-1.
Tuscaloosa answered with a pair of runs in the top of the 6th to cut the lead to 4-3. After the Renegades went scoreless in the bottom half of the inning the drama mounted in the 7th. Tuscaloosa first hitter was hit by the pitch and after an unsuccessful bunt attempt, Holder recored the 1st out with a strikeout but the runner advanced to 2nd on the 3d strike.
With the tying run in scoring position Holder induced a flyout to the rightfield for the 2nd out. Tuscaloosa sent a pitch hitter to the plate and with a 1-2 count fouled off 4 consecutive pitches before grounding out to SS to end the game and send the Renegades into the finals.
The Renegades, looking for back to back AAU National titles and 3rd in the last 4 years will face the winner of Tuscaloosa and Connecticut BlueJays in the finals at 2pm at Jet Blue Stadium.
The BVR 17U team won a pair of games Wednesday to punch their ticket to the Semifinals in the AAU underclassmen bracket. The Renegades got off to a quick start in the one game elimination bracket by defeating the BCC Patriots 10-0 in 5 innings. Willy Amador pitched 4 innings allowing only 2 baserunners and no hits while striking out 5. Ross Bludau pitched a scoreless 5th inning.
At the plate the Renegades collected 10 hits led by Amador, Tanner Luna, Bludau and Kylen Harrell who all had 2 hits apiece.
With the win the Renegades advanced to face back to back National Champions East Cobb Titans in the Quarterfinals. The Titans, who defeated the Renegades 5-0 in pool play had a bye in the 1st round.
Blaine Suehs retired 12 of the 1st 15 East Cobb batters he faced as the teams battled to a 0-0 tie untill the Renegades broke thru in the top of the 4th. Carson Skala and Tanner Luna led off with back to back singles and Amador drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Ross Bludau then hit a grounder to 2nd on a drawn in infield however the the throw home was wide plating the 1st run of the game.
Jeremy Pfuntner drove in a run with an RBI SAC fly and Kylen Harrell then delivered a 2 out RBI double to extend the lead to 3-0. East Cobb would answer with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th but Suehs would escape further damage by getting a groundout and flyout to end the inning and leave 2 East Cobb runners stranded in scoring position leaving the game deadlocked at 3.
After both teams went scoreless in the 6th the Renegades went back to work in a pressure filled 7th. Kylen Harrell again delivered a big hit, leading off the inning with a sharply hit single. Pinch runner Ryan Hendershot moved to 2nd on a SAC bunt by Suehs.
Following a strikeout for the 2nd out of the inning, Jacob Moseley delievered a clutch 2 out RBI single to plate Hendershot and give the Renegades the lead. In the bottom of the Inning Suehs retired the 1st batter before giving up a 1 out walk. The runner then moved to 2nd on a wild pitch. With the drama increasing on each pitch Suehs got a called 3rd strike on a 2-2 pitch for the 2nd out of the inning.
With the tying run standing on 2nd Suehs induced a 6-3 groundout to end the game and give the Renegades an emotional hard fought 4-3 victory. With the win the Renegades advance to the AAU underclassmen semifinals for the 2nd straight year and will face the Orlando Assult at 8am at Jet Blue #5. With a win the Renegades will advance to the National Title game at Jet Blue Stadium at 11am.