Three pitchers combined to throw a 13-strikeout shutout and Harry Ford picked-up four RBIs as the East Cobb Astros blanked Florida Burn, 6-0, to win the inaugural 17U National Team Championships North Carolina on Thursday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
East Cobb finished the tournament with a 5-0-1 overall record and outscored its opponents 27-5 en route to the gold medal. The team placed four athletes on the All-Tournament Team: Andrew Armstrong, Ford, Joe Mack and Treyton Rank.
The Astros pitching set the tone on the day as Will Robbins, Jackson Brockett and Michael Braswell combined to strike out 13 Florida Burn batters while surrendering just two hits. The starting pitcher, Robbins, picked up the win thanks to early run support from his offense.
East Cobb jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a Ford (2-for-3; 4 RBIs) triple to centerfield that scored Termarr Johnson and Mack. Johnson would set the table once again for the Astros offense in the bottom of the third after leading the inning off with a single through the right side.
Back-to-back walks to Braswell and Mack loaded the bases before Johnson crossed the plate on a wild pitch for the four-run cushion. Ford then picked up his second extra-base hit of the game with a two-RBI double to center to bring the score to 5-0.
The Astros picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a Kristian (3-for-3; RBI) Campbell single for the final score of 6-0.
Brockett came on in relief for Robbins in the third inning and struck out seven batters in four innings before handing the ball over to Braswell to close the game. Braswell obliged and shut the door on any potential comeback, striking out the side to clinch the gold medal.
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