The 14U Barracudas kicked off the 2012 season April 17 in Atlanta and won the Georgia Super NIT Tournament.
The state tourney is part of the largest single amateur-baseball tournament in the world. More than 500 teams in various age groups play at 30-plus venues around Atlanta.
The Barracudas’ part of the tournament began rockily with a 7-6 loss in the first game of pool play.
Barracuda coach Chris Bell said the last game of pool play went better, but his squad was not able to string any hits together, losing 6-3.
“This put us in a hole being a low seed going into the 18-team, single elimination bracket,” Bell said.
With their backs against the wall the Barracudas turned up the volume, beating every No. 1 seed in the tournament.
“The pitching was outstanding for nearly the entire event, allowing only nine earned runs in six games,” Bell said. “The hitting came around in bracket play and really pressured the other teams from the start.”
The Barracudas found themselves going into the championship against the Spartans, who had given up only three runs during the tournament.
“The game stayed knotted, 0-0, until the fifth inning when our boys pushed across two,” Bell said. “The Spartans were held down to only one hit until the top of the seventh, when they battled back to tie it up at 2-2.”
But the Barracudas would not be denied and in the bottom of the inning were able to bring the winning run across the plate with two outs.
“The overall victory capped off a total team effort with 13 players all contributing at different times in every game,” Bell said. “This earned the Barracudas both a state tournament berth and a World Series berth to add to their schedule.”