Suns prepare for national tournaments, battle injuries and expand roster
May 27, 2014
With most team’s seasons winding down after failing to qualify for the two national tournaments at Disney, the Suns are just getting geared-up. The Suns achieved their two pre-season goals by qualifying for the AAU Grand Nationals and USSSA Elite World Series.
After taking some well-deserved time off and not playing for nearly a month the Suns won two and lost one at this past weekend’s state tournament in Plant City. The Suns overall record is now 47-18 and they kept their streak alive of never finishing a weekend tournament with a losing record.
Participating in last weekend’s tournament was USSSA’s final qualifying step making the Suns the only Central Florida team to qualify for the Elite World Series tournament at Disney, August 2nd thru 9th. There are a just a few qualifying tournaments left around the country for team to earn berths into the Elite World Series. The field currently consists of teams from California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Kaiden Perez, the lefty pitcher and clean-up hitter for most of the season broke his ankle last week. He is expected to miss five or six weeks with this injury. This is the third broken bone this season for the scrappy Suns.
With only four roster moves available to qualified Elite World Series teams, the Suns have used two of them. The Suns added Isaiah Eberheart (Daytona Beach 10U Stingers) and Luke Baldwin (Oviedo 10U Rattlers); both players had outstanding tournaments in Plant City. These players have been playing up this season on 10U teams which helps them prepare for these advanced tournaments.
The Suns have passed on most of the areas 9U closed base tournaments this season by playing primarily in 10U and 9U open base tournaments in preparation for the better competition we expect to face in these upcoming tournaments. The Suns next tournament is the USSSA CFL Slugfest in which the Suns will play up in the 10u division in Altamonte Springs on June 7-8th. This tournament will be the Suns final tune-up before the AAU Grand Nationals starting June 15-21st at Disney.