MOUNT PLEASANT - Pitcher Bryce Brown drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly, then nailed down the victory in the bottom of the eighth inning as the East Coast Baseball Academy Bombers won the Perfect Game Super 25 12-and-under national championship Tuesday.
The Bombers defeated the Home Plate Schmits of Sharpsburg, Ga., by 3-1 at the Jones Recreation Center.
The game was tied at 1-1 after the regulation six innings, thanks to the efforts of starting pitchers Geoffrey Gilbert of ECBA and Joseph Eichelberger of Home Plate. Gilbert, who plays for Bishop England High School and pitched a no-hitter earlier in the tournament, struck out seven over five innings on Tuesday.
In the eighth, ECBA's Jett Kirshtein reached on a single and stole second. With runners at second and third and one out after a walk, Brown lifted a fly ball to left that scored Kirshtein with the go-ahead run. The throw home skipped by the catcher, allowing another run to score.
Brown, who struck out six in three innings, stranded two runners in the eighth to earn the victory.
"All credit to the guys," said ECBA coach Randy Carlson, a former Citadel assistant coach. "They played with a lot of guts. We got a fantastic pitching performance from Geoffrey Gilbert, and then Bryce Brown showed a lot of courage getting us out of a jam."
Home Plate had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth when Brown escaped with a strikeout and a fly ball to right.
"All our guys played hard, played good fundamental baseball and made the routine plays when we had to," Carlson said.
Perfect Game USA hosts 249 age-group tournaments featuring almost 3,000 teams from 38 states in its Super 25 event for travel baseball teams.
"Perfect Game is the organization in terms of travel baseball, and having them host a tournament here in Charleston is a treat," Carlson said. "They did a great job hosting the tournament, as did John Rhodes and the Diamond Devils. We're just glad to have a chance to play in such a prestigious tournament right here in our backyard."
The Bombers roster also includes Corey Cochran, Vonnu Elias, Chamblee Hannon, Stephen Holderness, Chai Kirshstein, Joseph Salvo, Colby Searson and Vince Smith.