Posted on 20 July 2016.
The Ruffnecks program has long been committed to participation in top events during the summer baseball season. The road for all Ruffnecks (except the 13U ‘Necks) runs through Georgia and the Perfect Game WWBA at LakePoint in Emerson, GA. The PG WWBA events are regarded as demanding and competitive events. Hundreds of teams enter and compete from all parts of the United States. Teams play 7 games in pool play, with only pool winners advancing to the playoff rounds. This means there is little room for error, and teams must remain “in the hunt” over the week-long grind.
Ruffnecks Teams 23-4-1 in 2016
The 2016 summer has been one of the most successful in the program’s history. Four Ruffnecks teams entered in the 14U, 15U, 16U, and 17U WWBA Championships. Together the Ruffnecks amassed an impressive record of 23 wins 4 losses and a tie. The 1-1 tie came in the final game of pool play for the 17U Ruffnecks against the East Cobb Astros. No Ruffnecks team lost more than one game in pool play this summer, and yet none advanced to the playoff round! The ‘Necks took four second place finishes.
15U Ruffnecks Impressive
In addition to the close call for the 17U Ruffnecks, the 15U squad found themselves in a matchup against the Dallas Tigers, both with 5-0 records, that would decide the pool. Unfortunately, the opponents earned a 3-1 victory. Despite the second place pool finish, the Ruffnecks earned tremendous respect with a team ERA of 0.78 while allowing only 8 runs throughout pool play. Of 272 teams in the event only 6 teams allowed 8 runs or fewer. The pitching staff was led by Jackson Emus, Teddy Goss, Ben Mlavsky, Jeff Price, Josh Gruenberg, Ben Reyes, and Seamus Barrett. The offense was sparked by the bats of Evan Sleight, James Dillon, and Jaylen Bailey. Sleight hit .500; Dillon .450; Bailey .364. Defensively, the Ruffnecks were anchored by a solid catching tandem of J.P. Olson and Mitchell Schroeder. The infield of Dillon (3B), and middle infielders Dante Taylor, Andrew Hass, and Jack Flynn were rock solid. Jeff Price and Jaylen Bailey played a good 1B, with Bailey also contributing in the outfield with Colin Blasco, Ben Rounds, Emus, Sleight, and Gruenberg. The 15U Ruffnecks have played an arduous schedule that will grow close to 55 games in just 7 weeks.
With the intensive travel portion of the summer behind, the 15U, 16U, and Senior (17U) Ruffnecks teams will play in the New England region until the first week in August. A combined roster will travel to Diamond Nation August 1-4 to compete in the Blue Chips Prospects tournament.
Posted in 15U, Home - Content, Home - Photo Gallery
Posted on 13 July 2016.
The 14U Ruffnecks won their second consecutive 14U CABA World Series title on Friday, July 15th in Lebanon Tennessee. The Ruffnecks went on an amazing 11-0 stretch to capture the title. It was not easy. After going 6-0 in pool play, double elimination can challenge the best of teams. 11 game in six days is taxing on a pitching staff. The intense Tennessee heat is a factor as well. In their early Friday game, the Ruffnecks faced a game Cross Hit team for the right to move forward in the winner’s bracket. This is an advantage, since the team that loses once must beat the team that moves directly through the winner’s twice if they reconnect at the end of the event. The Ruffnecks were down 5-1 going into the bottom of the 7th inning. However, this gritty group found a way to score 5 runs for a walk off win.
In the final game, the Ruffnecks were threatened in the final inning as Cross Hit found a way to make an apparent runaway into a close contest. In the 7th inning of the championship, Kevin Skagerlind made a perfect throw from the outfield for the final out at home plate to preserve an 8-6 victory.
13s and 14s Face Off in Playoffs
In an amazing circumstance of chance the 13U Ruffnecks faced the 14U Ruffnecks in the first playoff action of double elimination at the 14U CABA World Series in Lebanon, Tennessee. The 14s earned the #1 overall seed by cruising to a 6-0 record in Pool Play. the 13s got in as the 16th and final seed courtesy of some well played baseball against some very tough opponents. The youngest ‘Necks (13U) dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 decision in pool play on the first day that would have given them some breathing room in the playoff seedings. Instead, it came down to a Ruffnecks vs. Ruffnecks contest at beautiful Cumberland University. Indeed the 13s jumped to a lead 1-0 in the top of the first, but the 14s, who are playing very well, ended up winning the game 12-2. The 13s were eliminated from the tournament on Wednesday morning in another 6-5 decision despite a valiant pitching performance by Greg Kuperman.
All Tournament Team Dominated By Ruffnecks
13s vs. 14s in Tennessee
The 14U Ruffnecks were the story of the tournament. Lucas Stowe was named MVP of the tournament, while Kai Grocki earned Outstanding Pitcher. The All-Tournament Team included Grocki and Stowe, along with Will Figueroa, Kevin Skagerlind, and Nick Seeto. Of course, these players know that their personal recognition is a result of tremendous team success and contributions from every member of the roster.
16U Ruffnecks go 6-1 at Perfect Game WWBA in Georgia
It was another strong showing for the Ruffnecks program on a national stage, as Kirk Fredericks’ squad earned a second place finish in their pool with a 6-1 record at the 16U PG WWBA in Emerson, Georgia. Joe Simourian led an explosive offense during the week long event with a .591 average. His slugging was .818, and his OBP was .625. Christian Allaire also contributed a hot bat, hitting .550, along with Brodie Carey at .538. The team suffered its only defeat at the hands of the Evoshield Canes, who won the pool with a 7-0 record. Of course, nothing is achieved without good starting pitching. The Ruffnecks top three starters combined for a 0.00 ERA. Anthony Redfern, Riley Teevens, and Ryan Cusick pitched a combined 20 innings without letting up an earned run. Teevens struck out 12, while Cusick struck out 10.
Posted in 13U, 14U, Home - Content, Home - Photo Gallery, Tourney News