SARASOTA, Fla (July 21, 2017) – Mother Nature certainly showed her force on more than one occasion, but not even she could put a damper on what turned out to be a memorable week of National Championships for AAU Baseball from July 11th-17th in Sarasota.
Despite tremendous rainfall and ominous thunderstorms that led to a number of weather delays, teams and fans alike demonstrated unbreakable patience and competitive spirit as the AAU worked to ensure the completion of the tournament, which was held at the Spring Training home of the Baltimore Orioles.
The week kicked off on Monday with an unforgettable Opening Ceremony on Siesta Key Beach – frequently ranked the #1 beach in the United States – featuring a live DJ, all-you-could-eat barbeque, volleyball and football games, and was ultimately capped by a priceless sunset overlooking the ocean. Tuesday marked the first day of gameplay in which thirty teams from across the United States – including Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Puerto Rico among the many states represented – converged within four different age groups to compete for the title of National Champions.
After battling through two days of pool play and another four days of bracket play, API Elite of Maryland claimed the title of 14u National Champions after defeating SBO Family of Puerto Rico in the championship game. Meanwhile, Cibeco of Ponce, Puerto Rico took home the 15u National Championship with a 10-1 victory over Pride Baseball in a game that was held at Ed Smith Stadium.
In the 16u/17u age division, the Wiregrass Cardinals Red defeated the Boston Blue Jays by a score of 8-2 in the final, marking yet another AAU National Championship for the Wiregrass club. Following the conclusion of that game, the Georgia Eagles squared off against the Triton Rays (ranked #3 nationally) in the 18u/19u championship. Needing to win the first game to force a decisive second game, the Triton Rays did just that before ultimately completing an epic come-from-behind walk-off victory to take the title under the lights of Ed Smith Stadium.
The AAU congratulates all of the teams that participated in this year’s National Championships.Thank you to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make it all possible. We look forward to hosting another great tournament next year.
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