This one couldn’t be debated, BPA were clear-cut senior class champions of the Wilson Premier Classic.
Last year, in Peoria, Ariz., BPA shared the class of 2020 championship with Canes National, due to rain wiping away the title contest of the Wilson Premier Classic. This year, under a cloudless, bright blue Georgia morning sky, the championship game that was not played last year saw the same two programs square off. When the dust settled at the LakePoint Complex, BPA defeated Canes National, 3-1, claiming the program’s third Wilson Premier title.
Concluding a 6-0-1 week in Georgia, BPA used timely hitting and stout pitching to turn away the Canes, a winning recipe on display the entire weekend. The run up to the title game saw BPA rally twice in bracket play, coming back from sixth-inning deficits twice, first defeating the Richmond Braves in the round of 16, 3-2, then the Dirtbags, 7-2, in the quarterfinals. In both contests, catcher Harry Owen used a leadoff home run in the sixth-inning to kickstart the rally. The Auburn-commit picked up the game-winning hit against the Braves while BYU-commit, Colin Reuter’s three-RBI double was the decider in the victory against the Dirtbags. A 5-3 victory over Ohio Elite carried BPA through bracket play and into the title game.
In picking up where the class of 2020 left off as co-champions in 2019, BPA 2021’s title is the classes’ second in as many tournaments. Before kicking off the fall season with a title, BPA concluded the summer season as champions of Perfect Game’s 17u World Series. The two championships sets up BPA to go for an unprecedented Triple Crown next month, as no organization has won the PG World Series, Wilson Premier Classic and Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship in the same fall.
Leading BPA to the Wilson Premier crown with a dominant week at the plate, Owen was named tournament co-MVP along with teammate Colby Wallace, who closed multiple victories pitching out of the BPA bullpen, while also providing a critical bat at the plate. In the title game, Owen picked up a double and guided a stout pitching performance, highlighted by four-innings of one-run baseball from starter Cooper Robinson.
The undefeated week for BPA 2021 highlighted a 16-2-2 run by the organization over the three-class tournament. BPA 2022 finished runner-up, going 5-1-1 and BPA 2023 were semifinalists going 5-1. In its fifth year, the Wilson Premier Classic is an invite-only, elite tournament featuring the top travel organizations in the country. BPA’s three championships are tied for the second-most with Arizona Sandlot, joining the two won by the class of 2020 in 2017 and 2019.
Sights set on closing their travel career with a third championship, and staking their claim to being the best 2021/17u team in the country, traditionally held in Jupiter, Fla., this year’s WWBA World Championship will be held in Fort Myers, Oct. 8-12.