Article taken from Perfect Game on their website perfectgame.org
FORT MYERS, FL. -- As the 2020 BCS National Championships come to an end, last, but certainly not least, is the 18U BCS. This year's tournament saw teams from along the east coast competing with a lineup of players ready to compete at the college level within the next year. In reality, it is more common to have a stack of commits than merely a few.
Proving this was Massachusetts-based North East Baseball National who has players representing conferences from across the country. Their line up gave them an edge throughout the tournament as they went undefeated with several shut outs throughout pool play. To earn their spot in the championship, North East Baseball had an incredible ten run comeback in the bottom of the sixth during semis, showing just how badly they wanted this championship.
Facing off against North East Baseball would be FTB Orlando who went 4-1-1 through pool play, but without a doubt earned their spot in the championship after a five inning run rule shutout in the semi final game.
With momentum high for both teams coming out of the semis, one would need to take control of the game early on if they wanted to take home the title.
Leading off for FTB was Florida International commit Xavier Cintron who sent a grounder to second for a single. Pitcher Tyler Shelnut then denied any other batter from making it on base, but that did not stop Cintron from making his way around the diamond. As Cintron went to steal third, a wild throw gave him enough of a window to sprint home to put up FTB’s first and only run of the inning.
When it was North East Baseball’s turn at the plate, their lineup found their groove and did not hold back. Trevor Kilinski got their bats going with a single to right followed by Trey Jackson’s shot to the gap in right.
It was clear North East Baseball had found their hot spot as Trent Lewis sent a grounder to right as well for an RBI.
Keeping the runs going, North East Baseball capitalized on a slew of wild pitches from Erick Gonzalez to stack up two additional runs and end the first inning with a score of 3-1.
Through the second and third inning, pitcher Tyler Shelnut of North East Baseball pitched to just seven batters, striking out four, and allowing one hit.
For FTB, pitcher Erick Gonzalez kept North East Baseball scoreless as well as he allowed just two hits and walked two.
After a strong two and a half innings from both teams, severe weather rolled in and put the game on pause midway through the bottom of the third. With such a long delay in effect, it would be critical for both teams to maintain their focus to finish the game as strong as they started.
Once the championship resumed, pitcher Marlon Sanchez of FTB came in for Erick Gonzalez to close the inning out and finally move the game into the fourth.
Not missing a beat, Tyler Shelnut came back to the mound in the top of the fourth for North East Baseball and demonstrated his endurance and ability to remain focused through the delay. Shelnut retired three batters with just seven pitches and one K during the fourth, and through the remaining three innings, struck out three batters and gave up no hits.
In similar fashion, it was a quick three up three down for FTB’s Marlon Sanchez in the bottom of the fourth, but he couldn’t keep North East Baseball scoreless for long.
When South Florida commit Joaquin Monque came to the plate to start the bottom of the fifth, he waited for his pitch and homered off a 76 mph fastball to bring the score to 4-1.
As North East Baseball came back to the plate for the bottom of the sixth, it would now be up to Derick Cantres of FTB to stop their strong line up. However, North East Baseball had come too far to let up in the championship.
An early error in the sixth from FTB allowed Dylan Brazil to reach second off his fly to right. Going two for two already, Trevor Kiliniski came to the plate and grounded to right for an RBI, bringing the score to 5-1.
After a long day of baseball, it was North East Baseball National who proved to have the endurance needed to come back after the delay and take the championship with a final score of 5-1.
After his home run in the championship, Joaquin Monque secured the Most Valuable Player Award for the 18U BCS National Championship. Over the course of the tournament, Monque had a total of six hits, two home runs, and three RBIs.
When it came down to pitching, the Most Valuable Pitcher was awarded to Cooper Symmons of FTB Orlando. Symmons pitched for nine innings and had twenty seven outs, ten Ks, and a 77 FB velo.