Diamond Devils Blue gets hot in Atlanta
Several Summerville players helped the Diamond Devils Blue team have a strong showing at a national tournament.
The Diamond Devils Blue Team finished 6-2 at the 15U World Wood Bat National Championship in Marietta, Ga. The Diamond Devils won their pool with a 6-1 record and finished as one of the final 24 teams playing. The tournament began with 196 teams and was played over eight days (June 21-28).
"I am really proud of the way our kids competed in Atlanta over the past week,” Devils coach Banks Faulkner said. “They showed they are capable of competing with any team in the country. They have a lot to be proud of. Probably the most impressive thing about this week was the fact that so many different players contributed.”
The Diamond Devils opened the tournament with an 8-0 win over Valley Forge. Sawyer Bridges (Summerville) struck out eight batters over five innings of work, allowing only one hit to lead the Diamond Devils to victory. Patrick Frick (JL Mann), Blake Brady (Christ Church) and Jeff Gottesman (Wando) each had two RBIs to pace the offense.
In the second game the Devils earned a 6-5 win over the Doubleday Yankees.
The Devils rallied from an early 4-0 hole to win a thriller and move to 2-0 in Pool E play. Tyler Ackard (Wando, 3 hits) and Jack Bahen (Summerville, 2 hits) lead an 11-hit attack. Cameron Almond (Summerville) earned the win in relief, striking out four over two and 1/3 innings.
The Kentucky Baseball Club then handed the Devils a 2-1 loss. Jeff Gottesman allowed only two runs and threw well but the offense was unable to generate much against a tough pitcher. AJ Sessions (Porter Gaud, 1-2, 2 SB) led the Devils’ offense.
The Devils bounced back to earn a 6-2 win over the New England Roughnecks. Jacob Hennessy (Boiling Springs) got the Devils back into the win column, throwing five strong innings. He allowed just one hit and had six strikeouts. Seven different players all had a hit in the victory. Peter Brown (Wando) had two RBIs.
In Game 5 the Devils earned a 3-2 win over the Banditos of Austin. Sessions was the hero in this one as his walk-off bases loaded drag bunt plated Bridges with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Bo Gobin (Summerville) picked up the victory in relief of Kaden Hack (Wando).
The Devils then earned a 4-0 win over Dirtbags Gold. Bridges (9 k's, 5 1/3 IP) and Tyler Ackard combined on a shutout as four second-inning runs held up and the Devils moved into sole possession of first place in Pool E. BJ Bush (White Knoll) drove in two runs on a squeeze play in the second inning.
The next game was a 14-2 route with the Devils coming out on top. The offense erupted early and scored often to help the Devils win Pool E and advance to the round of 24. The Devils scored five runs in the second and never looked back. The Devils stole nine bases in this game. Wilson Beattie (Summerville) allowed one hit over four innings to earn the win.
The Devils magical run came to an end in the Round of 24 as the Dallas Patriots eliminated the Devils with a 5-1 victory. The Patriots broke a scoreless game with a single run in the fifth and broke the game open in the sixth. The Devils were held to a tournament-low two hits in this contest, scoring their lone run in the seventh.
“We won in a variety of ways,” Faulkner said. “Our pitching staff was fantastic the entire week. Jason Cochcroft, our pitching coach, does a wonderful job with those guys and did a good job calling pitches."