Missouri Bulls win 2nd Annual Sunnyside Invitational in Decatur
June 28, 2011
The Missouri Bulls 18U team played this past weekend in the 2nd Annual Sunnyside Invitational in Decatur, Illinois. This is an invite only tournament and featured eight very quality teams. This has been one of the most scouted events the past 2 years with this year being no exception. 24 college coaches were in attendance including programs like Missouri, SIU, Butler, Illinois, Illinois State, Western Illinois, Parkland just to name a few.
In the first game the Bulls were handed their only loss of the weekend as they fell to the Gamer’s Gray 3-2. Cody Heisserer and Cameron Wallace pitched well as Bull's hitters couldn’t solve the Gamer's pitching. Heisserer pitched five strong innings allowing one earned run, walking six and striking out five. Cameron Wallace was the tough luck loser allowing no earned runs in two innings of work. In game #2 on Friday afternoon the Bulls found their bats against the BNBA Gold team from Bloomington, Illinois. Adam Grantham threw six strong innings allowing four hits, one earned run, walking four and striking out eight. Andy Lack closed it out with a perfect 7th. Conner Wilson and James Naile had three hits apiece while Tyler Heuring had two. Game #3 Saturday morning the Bulls once again pulled out the lumber beating the Kansas City Sluggers 11-1 in five innings. James Naile got the win with three stellar innings, allowing no earned runs and scattering five hits, striking out four and walking no one. Zac Chasteen closed it out with two perfect innings, retiring all six batters he faced. Zac never threw a ball in two innings of work. At the dish Naile, Grantham, Dollins and Heisserer collected two hits each with Andy Lack dealing the big blow, a three run triple to put the game out of reach in the 4th. That win qualified the Bulls for the Final Four on Sunday as they drew the top seed Decatur Commodores bright and early at 9am. Jamie Brant took the hill and pitched his best game as a Bull. He faced a very talented Decatur bunch and allowed only three earned runs on nine hits. Jamie walked one and struck out four in 6 innings of work. Andy Lack came on and got the save as he pitched the 7th inning. Lack also went three for four at the plate while Grantham and Wallace had two hits each. The big blow of the game was Cody Heisserer’s blast to straight away center field scoring the first run for the Bulls and igniting a five run 4th inning to give the Bulls a lead they never gave up. The championship game certainly lacked the excitement the semi-final did as James Naile took the bump for the Bulls and completely shut down the Gamer’s Gray. The Bulls avenged the tournament opening loss with an 8-1 victory and a tournament championship. Naile pitched four strong innings allowing no earned runs and only two hits. Brady Wright pitched the final three innings in relief allowing no runs on just one hit, striking out two and walking none. Andy Lack once again led the way offensively with three hits and four runs batted in, all two out rbi’s. Cameron Wallace also had three hits while James Naile added two.
As a team the Bulls batted .382 for the weekend, with wood bats!! Andy Lack led the Bulls attack with 10 hits and eight runs batted in while batting .556. James Naile added nine hits batting .529. Cody Heisserer collected four hits, three for extra bases as he batted .571. Adam Grantham and Cameron Wallace both batted above .400 for the Bulls.
“It was a great weekend as everyone on the team contributed in some way,” said coach Mitch Wood. “We play in some very good tournaments but none better than this one.” “To have over 20 college scouts watching us all weekend is very exciting for our players and parents.”
The Bulls resume play this weekend in Lafayette, Indiana as they play in a 54 team showcase that features some of the best teams and programs in the Midwest.