By Kyle LoJacono
The Tampa Titans Elite baseball team won the AAU Grand National Championship at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex June 26-July 1.
The squad, which has players from Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills, finished the event with an 8-2 record. In total, 32 teams from around the country participated.
“This is an outstanding group of hard working boys,” said assistant Ricardo Spence. “They have fun playing the game and work well together as a team. Team chemistry and perseverance has been the key factors to the team success.”
The tournament was scheduled to take a week, but rain prevented play on many of the early days of the event.
The Titans started slowly, losing two of their first three games. They defeated the Florida Rawlings Gators 13-5, but were beaten by the Texas Patriots 13-4 and the Florida CBC Scorpions 11-7.
The squad went on a seven game winning streak, including the championship contest. The Titans beat teams from Indiana, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida before playing the Gators in a rematch for the title.
The bay area squad claimed the tournament crown by defeating the Gators 6-3. The Titans had to win four games on the final day to take the championship.
“That was the best couple of days of my life, but I was really tired after,” said catcher Matthew Severson. “I wasn’t even thinking about it because I was so tired. … Now I can think about how cool it was to win the championship. I’ve been telling everyone about it.”
The Titans, which practice in Land O’ Lakes, also won the Florida United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) state championship in May. USSSA currently ranks the squad No. 2 in the state and No. 33 nationally.
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