Suns finish 3rd in the USSSA Elite World Series
August 2, 2015
The Central Florida Suns 10U baseball team finished third in the USSSA 40-team Elite World Series, losing 4-2 to the runner-up Outlaws Elite of Miami Lakes.
2015 marked the 20th year since the Suns fielded its first travel ball team. The Suns are the only team to earn paid World Series berths on the field by winning Super NIT tournaments in Vero Beach and Newberry, Florida.
The World Series consisted of three pool play games that sent all 40-teams into four seeded double elimination brackets.
“When other teams buckle under the pressure, our kid’s step up in these big tournaments, like the Super NIT’s, Regionals and Elite World Series,” stated General Manager, Mike Bono.
The Suns are truly Central Florida’s team as the roster is made up of players from a five-county area. The 12-player roster consists of Luke Baldwin, Nicholas Roman and Alex Vazquez of Oviedo, Ayden Bowers of Holly Hills, Andrew Bubon of Longwood, Ryan Cartagena of Kissimmee, Denzel Flores and Alejandro Rodriguez of Orlando, Isaiah Eberheart of Port Orange, Brayden Kintner of Lake Mary, Brayden Spence of Mt. Dora, and Sam Wilsky of DeBary. The Suns are managed by Mickey Bono and coached by Brian Spence, Brian English, Kyle Bono and Ryan Bono.
In pool play the Suns went 1-1-1.
They won their first game 5-3 over OTC Xplosion of McDonough, Georgia behind a combined 4-hitter by Luke Baldwin and Sam Wilsky.
In their second game the Suns tied the Jacksonville Rage 2-2. The Rage was held to just three hits by Isaiah Eberheart and Luke Baldwin. Trailing 2-1 in the last inning, the Suns scored on hits by Andrew Bubon and Brayden Spence as the time limit expired. Brayden Kintner threw out two runners from right field killing Rage rallies.
In the final pool game, the Suns lost their first game 8-3 to the Lamorinda Vikings of Walnut Creek, California.
The Suns then opened bracket play by defeating the Warrior Baseball Club of Farmington Hills, Michigan, 11-7, with the key hit being Alejandro Rodriguez’s bases-loaded, three-run double.
In their second bracket game, the Suns defeated Team Mississippi Expos, 4-3, in extra innings.
Nicholas Roman sparked the offense with a solo homer in the second. With the scored tied in the seventh, Brayden Kintner led off the inning with a single, followed by a walk to Ayden Bowers. Isaiah Eberheart then hit a walk-off single to the right-centerfield wall for the win and moving the Suns into the Sweet Sixteen. Luke Baldwin started and Sam Wilsky closed on the mound for the Suns.
The Suns next opponent was the San Diego Show Baseball Club, a multi-NIT winner from California. After a scoreless first two innings the Suns exploded for five runs in the third on hits by Brayden Spence, Brayden Kintner, Ayden Bowers and Isaiah Eberheart to pace the Suns to a 9-5 win. Isaiah Eberheart pitched four strong innings and was relieved by Brayden Kintner.
The win over the Show advanced the Suns into the Elite Eight.
The Show then defeated OTC Xplosion, 12-9, in the loser bracket to earn a rematch against the Suns.
In a game to advance to the Final Four, the Show took a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning. Once again the Suns had a huge inning, scoring all six of their runs in the fourth inning. Ryan Cartagena and Alex Vazquez had key hits in the inning.
Luke Baldwin and Sam Wilsky held the Show to three hits and catcher Denzel Flores threw out two runners, both killing Show rallies, to lead the Suns to a 6-3 win.
The semifinal game with the Outlaws Elite of Miami Lakes was scheduled to start at 4 p.m., but was delayed until 8 p.m. due to severe weather.
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning and runners on second and third with no one out, the game was delayed another two hours. Once play resumed the Suns walked the batter to load the bases. With a 3-0 count and all runners moving, the Outlaw laid down a perfect bunt scoring two runs to earn a 4-2 victory ending the Suns and dream of a national championship.
The Suns are taking a month off before moving up to 11u. Starting this fall the field gets a little bigger with the mound moving back from 46- to 50-feet and the base paths increasing from 65- to 70-feet.
“We are confident that our boys can make this adjustment and once again compete for a national title stated manager Mickey Bono.
The Suns are a 501c3 organization supported solely by player parents and corporate sponsors.