Suns win Sunshine State Travel Ball AAU Grand National Super Regional
March 17, 2014
The Central Florida Suns won the AAU Grand National Super Regional hosted by Sunshine State Travel Ball. By winning the tournament the Suns earned an automatic berth in the AAU Grand National Tournament held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney from June 15-21. The Suns went 5-0 in the tournament, outscoring their opponents 62-19.
The Suns came out strong in game 1 of the tournament by defeating the Central Florida Pride 9-1. Jacob Glazar was dominant on the mound, striking out 8 over 4 innings and allowing only 1 unearned run. Brayden Spence and Brayden Kintner combined to pitch the top of the 5th, and the Suns scored the one run needed in the bottom of the inning to clinch the win by the "8 run rule" after 5 innings. Brayden Spence and Andrew Bubon both went 3 for 3 to lead the Suns. Alejandro Rodriguez and Nolan Thompson each added 2 hits.
In game 2 of the day, the Suns bats exploded for 18 runs to beat the PV Hawks 18-5 in another "run rule" ended game. The two wins in pool play secured the Suns the #2 seed going into bracket play on Sunday. Brayden Kintner went 3 for 3 to lead the Suns and Brayden Spence, Hunter Kwiatkowski and Brandon Henning each had 2 hits. Denzel Flores also added a single and 2 RBIs. The Suns missed out on being the #1 seed after pool play by giving up one more run than the Hit Factory Seahawks, who only surrendered 5.
In the first game on "Championship Sunday", the Suns dominated the South Daytona Stingrays 15-0 for their third consecutive "run rule" game of the tournament. Jacob Glazar, Andrew Bubon and Hunter Kwiatkowski combined for the shutout. The game served as a good "warm up" to get the bats going for the rest of the day. Kaiden Perez and Hunter Kwiatkowski each had 2 hits and scored 2 runs for the Suns offense.
The Suns would go on to face the Central Florida Wolverines in the semifinal. Joey Wimpelberg started the game on the mound and pitched five strong innings in the 10-5 victory. John Martinez came in to close out the top of the 6th. Andrew Bubon went 2 for 2 with a triple. John Martinez added a triple with 2 RBIs. The victory set up a rematch with the PV Hawks, who upset the #1 seed Hit Factory Seahawks 11-0 in their semifnal.
The championship game would start out with the Hawks scoring 4 runs with two outs in the top of the first off starter Connor Fosnow. The Suns would answer back with 5 runs in the bottom of the first. Fosnow would settle down and limit the Hawks to run 1 over the next two innings. Nolan Thompson would come in and pitch into the 6th inning before Brayden Kintner came in to record the final 3 outs and get the save in a 10-8 victory for the championship. Brayden Spence led the Suns by going 2 for 2 at the plate. Denzel Flores caught 4 great games behind the plate during the tournament, helping to guide the Suns pitching staff and often going to the mound to settle pitchers down when in a jam.
Next up for the Central Florida Suns is another chance to qualify for the USSSA Elite 32 Tournament, which is also held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney in August. The Suns will travel to Vero Beach for the Super NIT tournament on April 4-6th in search of winning it and gaining the automatic berth.