PARKLAND, FL- Earlier this month the 13U Parkland Pokers Baseball team took their talent on the road to compete in The Ripken Experience High Tide Tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The tournament gave the Pokers the opportunity to face teams from several different states.
The Parkland Pokers 13U team consists of Jack Apgar, Reese Burton, Mickey Case, Noah Diehl, Johnathan Gomez, Grant Harrison, Ryan Horn, Gabriel Jardine, Brayden McCluskey, Ben Rothenberg, Reid Storms, Aiden Tarshis and is coached by Trevor Connolly, Jeremy McCluskey, Roger Storms.
The Pokers went 6-1 in the tournament. Their first lost came in the single elimination semifinals. The Pokers won their 6 earlier games, outscoring their opponents 59-9. They went into the semifinals undefeated and as the number one seed. Prior to the game the team had breakfast together and teammate Aidan Tarshis said, "Win or lose, today is going to be a great day." The team ended up losing that game 6-4 to Elite Baseball from Georgia. It was a team the Pokers had beaten earlier that week. The loss in the single elimination semifinals brought their tournament play to and end. "It was a big disappointment for them to be eliminated in the semifinals but their sportsmanship was amazing. They truly made us proud," stated parent Pamela Horn.
The Pokers claimed first place in the tournament's Infield Skills Competition. The infielders who earned first place include Jack Apgar, Mickey Case, Jonathan Gomez, Ryan Horn, Brayden McCluskey and Aiden Tarshis.
The Ripken Experience High Tide Tournament showed that the Parkland Pokers 13U can compete with anyone across the country. "I loved the experience. We've been together awhile and keep getting better and stronger as a team. The games were fun. Our coaches are the best. I'm glad they took us to Ripken," stated teammate Ryan Horn.
The baseball complex was a great experience for the players as well. The fields were replicas of historic Major League Baseball ballparks. "I loved that everyday we played on a different field. Of the nine fields that are replicas of historic Major League ballparks, I liked the Polo Grounds the best," stated teammate Grant Harrison.
The Parkland Pokers 13U team game back to Parkland stronger as individuals but most importantly stronger as a team.