With the calendar turning over to December, autumn may not officially be over, but by all intents and purposes winter is upon us. As we enter the final month of 2019, it’s time to look back on a strong fall for BPA as teams top to bottom ended their 2019 showings on a high.
Class of 2020 leaves Wilson Premier as they entered: champions
Started in 2016, the Wilson Premier Classic is an exclusive tournament afforded to Wilson Premier-sponsors clubs and organizations. Alternating between Arizona and Florida every September, the Classic features some of the best teams in the country, played in the spring training homes of Major League Baseball organizations.
This year’s Classic saw BPA make history.
In 2017, BPA won the sophomore-division title with the class of 2020 sweeping the field in Peoria, Ariz. After falling shy in bracket play, going 4-1 in West Palm Beach, Fla., last year, BPA’s class of 2020 again went undefeated to leave Peoria, the offseason home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners, as co-champions. After outscoring the opposition 38-10 in a 5-0 run to the championship game, BPA shared the title with Canes National due to a delayed start to the semifinals because of rain, and the championship game being washed away.
Leaving the desert with another title, BPA became the first organization in Wilson Premier’s short history to see the same class win a title as sophomores then seniors.
For the 2021 graduates in Arizona, BPA went 2-2, beating eventual co-champion Rake City, 10-0 in pool play, before falling to the other co-champion, Arizona-based Sandlot Baseball, 7-6 in bracket play. BPA 2022 similarly went 2-2 in Arizona.
Class of 2023 makes big splash in PG debut
Playing in their first Perfect Game high school-aged World Wood Bat Association tournament, BPA’s class of 2023 showed BPA has another strong class on the heels of PG’s top-rated Californian class of 2021 and 2022 organization.
Heading to West Palm Beach, Fla., for Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association Freshman World Championship, Oct. 11-14, BPA compiled a strong 3-1 weekend.
Opening the tournament with a 12-0 win over Dirtbags Franchise followed by a 4-1 win over Team Elite Premier, BPA moved to bracket play as the No. 6 seed. The knockout round was unkind to BPA, with a 7-1 loss to Scorpions Founder Club knocking the team from championship contention. But BPA left Florida on a high note, knocking off B You Academy 11-0.
BPA leaves Jupiter
With apologies to the Rose Bowl, Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship can also claim to be the ‘Granddaddy of Them All’. Informally known as simply Jupiter, Perfect Game’s fall-ending tournament is the marquee event for travel baseball teams. Once again participating in Florida tournament, BPA showed it can go head-to-head against the best teams in the country, finishing a five-game run with a winning record.
Kicking off the weekend in Jupiter, BPA had a Wilson Premier Classic rematch against Baseball Northwest. Taking on the Pacific Northwest exposure organization in a pre-tournament exhibition, BPA won 6-3. After a move across the spring training home of the St. Louis Cardinals, BPA opened pool play with a 8-1 victory of the Dallas Patriots.
A storm system delayed BPA’s Friday contest against Team Elite Prime, and unfortunately after the skies cleared, BPA saw a reversal of their first pool game. An 8-2 loss put BPA behind the 8-ball. Needing to win and receive help to advance. BPA to a 2-2 draw against Power Baseball. Not participating in bracket play, a second exhibition was lined up as BPA took on 5 Star National. A pitcher’s duel unfolded as an 0-0 draw saw BPA leave the Sunshine State with a 2-1-2 record on the weekend.
As the team showed well, so too did infielder Jack Allen. The 2020 graduate of San Diego’s Francis W. Parker finished with a .545 batting average, the fourth-best clip of all tournament participants.
BPA wins two SoCal AAU titles
As the BPA’s senior class ended their time together on a high, the never wave of high school standouts appears ready to step up. Playing in six Southern California AAU tournaments at Steed Park in San Clemente, BPA 13U collected quite a bit of hardware this fall, winning two tournaments and finishing runner-up in another two.
Opening the fall season in the Season Opener, Sept. 21-22, BPA went 2-1 on the weekend. The winning weekend was a good warm-up to the Wood Bat Championship, where a 4-0 run saw BPA win the Oct. 5-6 tournament. BPA would go 2-1 in the Halloween Bash tournament, which was sandwiched by a pair of back-to-back 3-1 weekends. On Oct. 12-13, BPA finished runner up in the Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament, before grabbing a second second-place finish on Nov. 9-10 in the Veteran’s Day Super NIT Tournament.
But it was the gold, or in this case, rings, that would BPA would not be deprived from in the final tournament. Going 4-0, BPA captured the Fall Classic, Nov. 16-17. In the title game, BPA defeated Stars & Stripes, 11-1, putting an exclamation point on a weekend where BPA outscored the opposition 40-5.
In the tournaments, BPA 13U went a combined 18-4, scoring 179 runs, 8.14 per game, while allowed just 47, or 2.13 per game.