4617 Lee Waters Rd Marietta, GA 30066

17u Astros Win PG-East Cobb Invitational

East Cobb Astros use strong pitching, timely hitting en route to championship

The East Cobb Astros 17u  captured the 18u crown at the 2019 Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational by defeating 643 DP Cougars 16u Sterling 8-0 in the championship.

The Astros found themselves in the position by walking off in the semifinals against TPL National. Locked in a 0-0 tie in the bottom of the seventh, Brad Grenkoski sent his team into the championship when he delivered the game-winning double to score Tiger Borom, who led off the inning with a double. Those were the only two hits of the game for the Astros.

In the championship, the East Cobb Astros and 643 DP Cougars battled through four scoreless innings. The Astros finally broke through in the fifth. Ethan Stamps laced a two-RBI double with the bases loaded to score two of the team’s three runs in the inning.

It was a huddle called together by head coach Kevin Baldwin right before the inning that triggered the outbreak.

“Their guy did a really good job of pitching backwards,” Baldwin said. “He was throwing some breaking balls in fastball counts. We got the kids together and went up there looking for off-speed. We got some good ones to hit.”

“Our coach Kevin, he pulled us together and was like, ‘Y’all need to work hard. Y’all need to fight these at-bats through,’” said second baseman John Anderson, who led off the inning with a single. “We came together and were like, ‘C’mon, let’s win this.’”

The Astros provided a cushion the next inning by tacking on five more runs, including a bases clearing double by Anderson.

“I was just waiting on the ball to get to my barrel and just staying through the plane as long as I could,” Anderson, a Georgia Tech commit, said.” I felt like I was able to drive some hits by doing that.”

For his performance over the weekend, one that included nine hits, four doubles, and eight RBIs, Anderson was named MVP of the tournament.

“That’s the reason why he’s hitting in the three-hole for us,” Baldwin said. “He comes up big all the time. He grinds out every at-bat and gives you a good one every time out.”

Michael Sharman and Stamps combined for the three-hit shutout in the win. Sharman went four innings and struck out three batters, while Stamps finished the last two innings, striking out four. Neither pitcher walked a batter, and the Astros didn’t allow a run over the final three games.

“Overall, we had a great team effort all the way around,” Baldwin said. “Threw the ball really, really well and played great defense. Every time you do that you’re always in every game.”

The biggest performance on the mound came the day before, though, in the quarter finals. Will Sanders collected a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out six over the seven innings.

“He was unbelievable,” Baldwin said. “He came out like a bulldog and just came right at hitters and forced contact. He just threw the ball great all day long.”

The Astros needed every bit of Sanders’ big day on the mound in the 1-0 win over Nelson Baseball Club, and for it, he was named MV-Pitcher of the tournament.

“It’s big,” Sanders said. “It’s an accomplishment. It always something I try to push myself to get.”

For the East Cobb Astros 17u Navy team, it’s just the beginning of a long summer that will surely result in some more hardware. Last week, the team was runners up in the Southeast Memorial Day Classic.

“It kind of gets the monkey off your back so you have one [tournament championship],” Baldwin said. “You know what to do to get there and do it again. We get to start all over again tomorrow and try to do it again.”

2019 Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational MVP – John Anderson

2019 Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational MVPitcher – Will Sanders

See full tournament write up: https://www.perfectgame.org/