Sheets Baseball’s Shock capped off an impressive undefeated run at the 2018 Program 15 New Balance Baseball Future Stars Series 2021 Grad Class Tournament with an 11-1 win over NorCal Baseball on Monday afternoon to capture the championship.
The program, led by four-time major-league All-Star Ben Sheets, featured several of the top players on the yet-to-be-released Top 5 list and strung together six consecutive wins over a five-day stretch, including a hard-fought victory over GamePrep Baseball earlier in the day on Monday.
“We’ve won a bunch of events, and this is another good event to put a feather in our hat,” Sheets said. “We didn’t come here to win another title, we came here to play baseball and swing the wood. Really, for me, this was to get some different eyes on some of my players. That’s honestly really the main reason I came, Danny (Ardoin) talked this group up so much that I wanted to get their eyes. I see it, but I want other people to see it. It’s not just about holding up a trophy or winning, I want them to see what I see. I see it every day. When they can come out and have this extended week — and some of the kids didn’t perform — as a whole, you can see what I’m saying about this group.”
This was the Shock’s debut at a P15 event, and it was inarguably a successful one. They averaged 11 runs per game, and showed good pitching throughout the event as well. As Sheets alluded to, however, it was getting that talent in front of the right eyes, namely CEO Jeremy Booth and VP of Scouting Butch Baccala, that brought his team to Texas.
“It was what I came for, it was what I expected and what I heard,” Sheets said.
“Have there been events where I thought we had better competition? Yeah. But it isn’t about that, that part of this will grow. It’s about what they’re doing behind the scenes; they’re here at every game, watching and grinding. Butch and Jeremy are paying attention and watching people, and that’s what it’s about. That’s why I came here as opposed to some other tournament that might have better teams per se, but you’re not getting that experience in my eyes and that knowledge with what they provide out here.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com
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