Travel Notebook: Cook Leads Stars to Semifinals at Perfect Game’s Underclass Worlds

October 10 - Marucci Stars 17U Carroll advanced to the semifinals of the 210-team Perfect Game WWBA Underclass World Championship before falling to the eventual champions, EvoShield Canes National, on Monday in Fort Myers, FL. 

The team, coached by Carson Carroll, swept its three pool play games and then defeated New York’s Taconic Rangers, North Carolina’s Dirtbags Bad Company and Georgia’s East Cobb Astros in bracket play on Sunday. In Monday’s semifinals, the Stars took a 2-0 first-inning lead but were unable to pull off the upset in a 6-2 loss to the Canes, one of the country’s top travel programs which rostered players from 12 different states. 

Two area players - right-hander Wyatt Shenkman (Riverside) and outfielder Elijah Lambros (Fredericksburg Christian) - helped the Canes to the championship. Shenkman struck out six in 4.1 innings over two appearances while Lambros, a Virginia Tech recruit, went 5-for-26 (.192) with four RBI. 

Carroll’s club, meanwhile, was led by two-way standout Casey Cook (Freedom-South Riding), a North Carolina commit. Cook was 9-for-19 (.474) with three extra-bases and 10 RBI and went the distance to earn the win against East Cobb, scattering four hits over seven innings. He needed just 73 pitches and had his fastball reach 88 MPH. Cook and the team were featured in a story on the Perfect Game website.

“Casey Cook was just amazing,” Carroll said. “A lot of players played well to help the team do what it did over the week.”

Left-hander Nick Lottchea (Westfield) posted a 2.80 ERA over a team-high 10 innings, including 5.2 against the Canes, while Connor Kolarov (Freedom-South Riding) had 12 strikeouts over 7.2 innings in his two appearances and William & Mary recruit Nathan Knowles (Yorktown) and Andrew Schaeb (Lake Braddock) each posted five scoreless frames. 

“Every pitcher we threw out there did their job,” Carroll said. “[Lottchea] did a good job and gave us a chance to win. Even with the short roster, I was fortunate as a coach that all of the guys performed.”

Nick Morgan (Oakton) was 8-for-20 (.400) and George Mason recruit Jackson Baird (Battlefield) went 5-for-14 (.357) and paced the team with seven walks, seven runs and four steals over the seven games. Of the 14 players on the Stars’ roster, 12 attend Northern Virginia schools. 

Amos, Meyer Leads Aces to Title at Zombie Apocalypse SlugFest in Maryland

Dylan Amos and Jonah Meyer had big weekends to lead the Loudoun Aces 12U to the championship at the Zombie Apocalypse SlugFest in Frederick, MD. 

Amos was 8-for-10 with three extra-base hits and nine RBI over the four games and earned the win after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief in Sunday’s 9-6 championship game win over Maryland’s ESP Elite. Meyer, meanwhile, added three hits while throwing out seven runners attempting to steal a base, including three in the championship game. 

The Aces have won 11 straight and are 15-2-1 on the fall season. 

Stars 11U Colangelo, Canes Serrano 13U Win Brackets at Wolverine October Bash

Marucci Stars 11U Colangelo and EvoShield Canes 13U Serrano swept their way to championships in the two brackets at last weekend’s Wolverine October Bash held at North Stafford High School. 

The Stars (15-0), playing up an age level, won their two pool play games on Saturday, then earned one-run victories over MPH101 in the semifinals and the Stafford Warriors in the final on Sunday to win the 12U bracket. Gavin Knox led the way while Chase Colangelo, Nico Moritz and Serf Guerra each connected on home runs. 

In the 13U bracket, the Canes (12-2) outscored their four opponents, 37-13, defeating the Richmond Braves Gregory, 12-2, in Sunday’s final. Edwin Sanchez was 2-for-2 with a double, a homer and four RBI in the final and went 6-for-8 at the tournament.

Photos of, clockwise from left, Casey Cook courtesy of Marucci Stars, Jonah Meyer courtesy of Loudoun Aces, and Serf Guerra courtesy of Marucci Stars