Check out more information on Dansby Swanson's recent move to the Braves! Dansby is a former Yankee and 1st round pick overall. Welcome home. http://www.theplayerstribune.com/dansby-swanson-atlanta-braves-trade/
Congrats to our players who dominated special awards at this year's Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, New Mexico. Follow the LINK for details!
ECY Win Championship in Thriller
PG/East Cobb Invitational Champions Chris Garcia Published: Sunday, June 07, 2015
EC Yankees win championship in thriller
EMERSON, Ga. – This Sunday’s 2015 Perfect Game-East Cobb Invitational championship was an all-East Cobb Baseball affair, as the EC Yankees and EC Astros duked it out for the No. 1 spot. The Yankees prevailed on this scorching afternoon in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. The Yankees put the ball in the hands of South Carolina-Upstate commit, Eli Willingham, who was almost as hot as the beaming sun on this particular day.
The matchup between the Yankees' Willingham and the Astros’ Lance Johnson was an intriguing one, as Johnson displayed a running mid-80s fastball from the low three-quarters arm slot and Willingham pounded the strike zone and let his defense work behind him. In such a close game with such high stakes, it is easy to let the pressure get to you, but these pitchers kept their poise throughout the whole game.
Willingham’s complete game shutout performance earned him the honors of MV-Pitcher, and rightfully so. Willingham’s stuff was not overwhelmingly powerful, but his ability to command his fastball put him in a position to do very well. Willingham did give up nine hits, but his defense behind him refused to let the Astros cross the plate, as they left double digit runners on base. Willingham had to deal with the pressure of knowing that the game could be tied up on one swing of the bat for his entire outing, but with ice in his veins, the pressure was no match. The one run that the Yankees put up in the first was all they needed on this championship Sunday, and Willingham is just fine with that.
“My slider was biting real hard today, and I was getting on the backdoor with right-handed hitters and it was working for me,” exclaimed Willingham. “I was just going out there and throwing it, and just trying to let my defense work. This team is one of the best teams that I’ve played on, and this tournament had a lot of talent, so it’s pretty special that we got to win this one.
“It’s a Perfect Game tournament. Everyone is watching and everyone is talking about it, posting on twitter and what not. It’s just an awesome feeling to win with these guys on this stage.”
The Yankees didn’t have much of a rocky road on the way to the championship game. Their semifinal game provided a good warmup for these guys, as they easily handled East Cobb Team Wilson by a score of 5-2. The offense for the Yankees in the semifinal game was much more apparent than in the championship, considering their lineup raked inning after inning.
Not much raking was needed for the Yankees this weekend as their pitching staff combined to allow under five runs total for the whole tournament. Their pitching was absolutely sensational, and Coach James Beavers felt that was the key factor in their tournament performance overall.
“Our pitching was phenomenal this weekend. We only gave up about two runs the entire weekend,” said Coach Beavers. “Our pitching was great, but you can’t have pitching without great defense. The runs were there, and that allowed us the opportunity to get here, but you can’t say enough about the pitching and defense from these guys. Especially Willingham, who was spot on today.”
The EC Astros did not go unrecognized this championship Sunday, having their own Rankin Woley win the MVP of the tournament. Rankin, an LSU commit, won the MVP by a unanimous decision with his .529 batting average performance that included seven RBI and a .765 slugging percentage. Although the Astros were not able to pull out the championship, Woley shined brighter than anyone on the field this weekend.
“I just wanted to focus on barreling everything up,” said Woley. “I didn’t wanna get jammed, because I got jammed earlier in the weekend. I really wanted start off games with good at bats and move on from there. I think my approach on deck and at the plate was big for me this weekend. I wanted to keep my hands inside and just drive it down the middle of the field. It doesn’t feel good to lose this one, but I think we have great defense, so as long as the bats come alive, we'll continue to be successful this summer.”
The ECB program partly put on this Invitational, so it is only fitting that the champion belongs to their own program, but to have an all ECB championship was pretty cool for the players. A lot of them compete against each other in high school, so the game was extra meaningful for some of these players.
The Yankees and Coach James Beavers are proud to have claimed this year’s 18u Perfect Game-East Cobb invitational, and can’t wait to add another one to the trophy case.
“It’s early in the year, and we try not to get too excited about tournaments too early in the year, but its fun to win,” said Beavers. “It’s just a matter of us grinding, and facing good competition to get better. I think this tournament win will give us the confidence to be successful for the rest of the summer.”
This great article includes some dialogue with the Yankees very own Dansby Swanson. Check out what he had to say about the Yankees:
"Swanson, who is from Marietta, Ga., played in 10 PG WWBA and PG BCS tournaments with the East Cobb Astros and Yankees and feels like those experiences gave him a good feel for what to expect at the college level.
“That prepared me 100 percent, especially when I was playing for the East Cobb Yankees my last two years of high school,” Swanson said. “Everything was just very professionally done; the coaches are incredible. It set me up as far as knowing what to expect and learning how to get into a routine.
“I’ve been used to playing a lot of games every year ever since I started playing baseball so that’s never been an issue, but as far as the mentality and the routines, the summer ball was definitely a huge help.”"
For the entire article, follow the LINK.