Four players from Manatee County got a chance to play in front of MLB and college scouts last weekend in the inaugural Wilson Premier Classic at Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park. Two sophomores from Palmetto High School, a junior from Palmetto and a junior for Lakewood Ranch High School played in the showcase for Florida Burn Platinum in Sarasota.
The Florida Burn, a Sarasota-based club that also includes players from Out-of-Door Academy, fielded two teams — one of 2019 graduates and one of 2018 graduates — although neither made it past the first round of the playoffs.
The 2019 Burn, featuring Tigers catcher Gunner Womer and PHS outfielder Ty Hooks, opened the tournament with two wins against Premier Royal and Milwaukee’s Hitters Baseball on Friday. Florida advanced to the playoffs, but fell to the East Cobb Astros from Marietta, Ga., 6-2 in its first playoff game Saturday.
The 2018 Burn, which includes Palmetto middle infielder Jacob Josey and Lakewood Ranch pitcher Pablo Garabito, went through the weekend without a win. Florida opened with losses to Houston Heat Prime and Premier Red on Friday, then dropped its final preliminary game to Team Elite Prime from Winder, Ga., 1-0, on Saturday to miss out on the playoffs.
Mustangs sweep weekend in Palmetto
In three games at Palmetto Youth Center on Saturday, the Manatee Mustangs outscored the Palmetto Trojans by a combined 145-6. The mighty mites Mustangs shut out the Trojans, 40-0, the pee wee team shut out Palmetto, 42-0, and the junior pee wee club pounded the Trojans, 63-6. Manatee rounded out a perfect weekend of Pop Warner Little Scholars football with a win by forfeit against the Wesley Chapel Cowboys in Palmetto.
The North Manatee Storm were the only other association with a perfect weekend, winning a pair of games against the Hardee Wildcats in Wauchula. The Storm’s mighty mites team opened the day with a 14-6 win, and its junior pee wee squad finished the day with an even narrower, 26-24 win at Hardee Wildcats Field.
The rest of Manatee County went through Week 4 with mixed results. The Manatee Wildcats split four games in Bradenton with the South Shore Junior Longhorns, winning in both mighty mites and junior pee wee at G.T. Bray Park Recreation Center. The Manatee Bulldogs opened the day with a 20-12, mighty mites win against the Valrico Rams at Valrico Recreation Center before dropping their final three games in Valrico.
Mustangs Elite win at SWFL September Shootout
One Manatee County baseball club did come away from the weekend with a win. The Mustangs Elite of Suncoast Travel Ball took the top spot in the 11 open division at the SWFL September Shootout in Port Charlotte.