After a long 9 days of action, 62 team and driving all over Southern California, the 2018 ABD Bulldogs are the 16u Champions of the Firecracker Classic.
The Bulldogs were a wild card coming out of pool play on Monday. The team played it's first round playoff game on Wednesday against Signature Baseball Academy. The game was highlighted by starting pitcher John "Zuko" Tillman of Redlands High School who pitched 6 complete innings striking out 6. The Bulldogs won by the score of 9-1.
Thursday's action featured a match up between the CBA Wave and the Bulldogs. The game was dominated by University of Arizona commit Tony Bullard, who not only pitched a gem on the mound but also hit a 3-run homerun in the top of the 4th inning at a very pitcher friendly Hart Park in Orange. Jared Billen also added an RBI double in the game. Bulldogs cruised to an 6-1 victory advancing the the quarter finals to play Northern California based A.S. Titans.
In the quarter final game, Jake Umathum of Paloma Valley High School pitched 5 complete innings in a 8-4 win. Umathum allowed just 2 earned runs and walked 3. Chris Rust of Temecula Valley High School pitch 2 innings of scoreless relief. The offense was charged by Bullard again, he was 2-3 at the plate with another 3 runs batted in. Gabe Ramos of Woodcrest Christian High School added a pair of hits and runs batted in. Tiger Adams of Loyola High School drove in 2 runs with a triple.
The semi final game featured a tight contest with Orange County based OC Premier. After allowing a run in the first inning Gabe Ramos of Woodcrest Christian High School dominated on the mound. Ramos was brilliant over 7 innings he struck out 7 and only walked 2. The Bulldogs were down 1-0 going into the 4th inning when Chris Rust got on base with a 2-out single. Shaun Hernandez of Woodcrest Christian High School laid down a perfect drag bunt for an single and forced an errant throw. With 2- runners now in scoring position Connor Kokx of Aliso Niguel High School drove a 2 strike offering to left field for a single tying the game at 1. In the top of the seventh Tony Bullard got on base with a 1 out double. Gabe Ramos drove a single to center. With runners on first and third Jack Strickland of San Dimas High School stroked a single passed the first base side of the infield. The Bulldogs would close out the 7th inning and advance to the championship game to face Bercovich 24 Baseball from the East Bay area of San Francisco.
The championship game was highlighted by a very dominate pitching performance by Jared Billen who pitched a complete game on only 67 pitches thrown. The lone run allowed was an unearned run, he struck out 6 and only allowed 4 hits. The offense was dominate in the championship contest. Cody Rawson of Damien High School Led the way with a 3rd inning 3-run inside the park homerun. Tiger Adams added an 2 run RBI triple. to cap off a 5 run inning. The Bulldogs cruised to a 10-1 victory. The Bulldogs tailed 14 hits and stole 6 bases in the contest.
Tony Bullard was named the tournaments Most Valueble Player. He was 9-12 with 7 runs batted in. Bullard Homered, hit 3 doubles and pitched a complete game in the tournament.
The Bulldog pitching staff was outstanding in bracket play only allowing 7 runs. Only 4 were earned in 5 games of bracket play.