By Jason Hanes
For many teams, the Myrtle Beach Summer Nationals from Triple Crown Sports present a great way to end a long season. If you’re a team like Premier 13U – Moore, winning a championship is just the icing on the cake.
A four-run first and a three-run third proved to be the big difference as Premier 13U – Moore defeated Team Elite American, 10-6, to win the 13U Pelican Bracket at the Myrtle Beach Summer Nationals.
“It’s been a long week, but these guys came ready to play,” said Premier head coach Vincent Moore. “They’re 13-year-olds, so there’s going to be some ups and downs, more so downs than ups. These games can get kind of long, but these guys did a good job of pushing through.”
After a win in the game immediately proceeding the championship game to get to get a chance at the trophy, Premier 13U – Moore came out ready to go. After a scoreless top half of the first, Premier plated four runs to take a lead it would never relinquish. After Team Elite American scored twice in the second and once in the third, Premier came back with three runs as Wade Sebek cleared the bases with a bomb over the fence in center.
“The first pitch was a ball, and I was just looking to stay through the ball and not pull off of it,” Sebek said.
“Those two innings were huge for us,” coach Moore said. “Our team has a tendency to sleepwalk through the first few innings, and then you have to get on them and wake them up. When they wake up, they hit the ball pretty well.”
Premier 13U – Moore would tack on three insurance runs before the seventh inning, and the runs turned out to play a big role in the contest. With his team down to its last strike, Stephen Crater would connect on a three-run homer of his own over the fence in right-center to pull Team Elite American within four, 10-6.
That would prove to be the final runs of the game, however, as Luke Kohler would induce a pop out in foul territory to end the game and clinch the title for Premier 13U – Moore.
“Pitching and playing good defense is the name of the game,” said coach Moore. “A lot of times at the 13U age group, pitching can go to the wayside, but we did a good job today of pitching.”
The tournament marks the end of the season for Premier 13U – Moore, but winning a championship made the trip west from Katy, Texas worth it. “This year’s been great,” said Sebek. “I liked everybody on the team, and it was fun playing with them.”