JUPITER, Fla. — Mother Nature made it a challenge, but another World Wood Bat Championship has concluded with East Cobb Baseball claiming an 8-2 victory over Chet Lemon's Juice in the event's championship game Monday afternoon.
East Cobb collected nine hits to score its eight runs and got four innings of one-hit baseball from Wesley Jones (Redan HS, Stone Mountain, Ga.). He allowed two runs (one earned), walked two and struck out three. His fastball sat in the 86-89 mph range and he mixed in a sharp 77-79 mph curveball.
Jones is primarily a shortstop and hasn't been pitched in a while, but he earned MVP honors after going 11-for-21 (.524) with four doubles and 10 RBIs in eight games. He walked twice and didn't strike out during the five-day tournament. Jones was surprised he got the start on the mound in the championship, but said he was ready for anything this week.
"I prepared for this and I felt like I had a shot," Jones said. "It's been really fun. There's a lot of talent out here."
Outside of the pure numbers, Jones impressed at the plate with his tools. He has a quick bat that's direct to the ball and he showed an ability to consistently square pitches up. He's an average runner at best so he may not stay at shortstop in the long term, but he has sure hands so he could stay in the middle by playing second base.
The left side of East Cobb's infield is strong with Jones and Travis Demeritte. A third baseman from Winder-Barrow High (Winder, Ga.), Demeritte struggled at the plate, going just 1-for-19 with six strikeouts before the championship. He didn't collect his first hit of the tournament until the first of three Monday games.
"I struggled a little bit coming into this game," he said. "I just tried to find another way to contribute to my team."
He contributed plenty in the final game, going 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and run scored. All three hits were squared up and the double was a laser that went off the left field wall. Demeritte has some hand movement in his load that causes a hitch, but he has excellent bat speed that allowed him to catch up to fastballs today. He also played well on defense, making routine plays and showing off a plus arm. He also made a diving stop to his right and rifled a one-hopper to nail the runner in a close play at first.
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