Central Florida Suns 9u have strong showing in national tournaments
The Central Florida Suns 9u had a strong showing in two of the most prestigous national tournaments this summer. The Suns went 7-1 during the AAU Grand Nationals and went 2-2-2 in the USSSA Elite World Series. Both tournaments were held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports located at Walt Disney World Resort.
In the AAU Grand Nationals, the Suns went 6-0 in pool play to be the #1 seed going into bracket play. They won the first bracket play game 8-7 to advance to the semifinals. The Suns would go on to lose the semifinal and not advance to the final. The tournament was a good warm up for the team's ultimate goal of playing well in the USSSA Elite World Series.
The USSSA Elite World Series, formerly known as the Elite 32, was held August 3-9. The Suns faced off against the #6 ranked team in the country according to Baseball Youth Magazine, the Pinellas Park Crushers in the first game of pool play. The game would end in a 4-4 tie. The next day the Suns would once again play to a tie versus the Georgia Octane, 6-6. In the 80 games the Suns played over the past year, they had not a game end in a tie until those two games.
Bracket play would see the Suns defeat the OTC Explosion 10-6. The victory would set up a match anticipated matchup against the MLB Sandcrabs. The Sandcrabs had already won an national championship this summer and were ranked #3 in the country according to Baseball Youth. The Suns would lose a hard fought game 7-5 to the tournament's eventual runner-up. Sandcrabs' parent commented that the Suns were the best team they had played in a long time.
The loss would the Suns in the Loser's bracket where they would match up next against the Bandits 9U Elite. The Suns would cruise to strong 11-2 win. The next day would see a matchup against the Gameday Shockwave. The game was a back and forth battle, with the Shockwave winning 7-6. The loss would eliminate the Suns from the tournament.
Overall the team felt the played really well against some very good teams. The coaching staff and players felt encouraged that they could compete with any team on the elite national travel level. The Suns look forward to moving up to the 10U division and continuing to get better and hope for another run at both the AAU and USSSA championships next year.