The East Cobb Astros 16u took home the championship of the 16u Perfect Game World Series on Thursday with a 3-2 win over FTB – Tucci Berryhill. The win finishes off what was an impressive run at this year’s event.
After being held scoreless through the first five innings by FTB starter Tyler Dowdy, the Astros were able to get a pair of baserunners with a double and an error. With runners at second and third, Spencer Keefe came to the plate looking to make something happen.
After taking the first pitch of the at-bat, Keefe got a good pitch to hit and didn’t miss. Keefe drove a ball deep over the wall in left-center field to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. The hit would turn out to be the most important of the game, and it came in a moment that Keefe was ready for.
“Those are the moments that you really want to have the at-bat and go for it. You’re down by two, so you want to be the guy in that situation and drive the runs in for your team. I was able to step up and I got it,” said Keefe, who also took home MVP honors in the tournament. “I was looking for a pitch over the plate to drive, and he threw a curveball. I was able to get my barrel on it and that was hype.”
Keefe was strong at the plate throughout the entire tournament. The rising junior from Canton, Georgia was 7-for-20 with a double, triple and the big championship game home run. The Georgia commit is also ranked as the 10th-best player in the state of Georgia according to Perfect Game.
“I was off last tournament, but I was able to pick it up this tournament and help our team get some wins. I was really happy with how I played.”
The East Cobb organization is historically one of the more successful summer teams on the circuit, and this latest championship was earned the hard way. Head coach Tim Lemons couldn’t be more proud of his guys and he was happy they could find a way to win this tournament to end the summer.
“This is just such a great way to end the summer, and all of this actually started last fall,” said Coach Lemons. “It was good that they ended up winning this one. I think this is our fifth championship of the summer, and to end it this way is great.”
With the amount of talent this East Cobb team has, coach Lemons knew he had plenty of players who could step up and make the big play. He was happy Keefe was the one to step up.
“He is capable of doing that every time, and that was probably his best swing throughout the tournament. There are others guys in that lineup that are capable too, but he finally got one.”
After East Cobb starter Brad Grenkoski turned in a great start on the mound, it was up to reliever Mason Patel to come in and shut the door on a championship. Patel allowed just one hit in the final two innings of play, and he was able to work around a jam in the sixth to keep his guys on top.
“I was ready the whole game, I got good advice from Brad [Grenkoski], and I had my curveball really working,” said Patel, who is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee. “Playing for this organization, a championship means a lot. It means a lot to Coach Baldwin and to all the players that came before.”
It was a total team effort for this East Cobb Astros team, and they were able to play good baseball all week. The Astros finished this year’s tournament 6-0-1, and were able to outscore their opponents 29-9 in those seven games.
For the East Cobb Astros, Blake Money also tossed seven shutout innings on his way to a 1-0 record. Money allowed two hits while striking out five this week.
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