Game of the Summer: Five Tool Southeast Arkansas Show 17U Championship

It was a dream match up from the get go. Prospects Carpenter 17U and Dallas Nationals 17U each rode powerful offenses all the way to the Five Tool Southeast Arkansas Show Championship Game, but no one envisioned a game that would feature 39 combined runs and seven home runs.

In the first, Prospect Carpenter 17U got off to a hot start as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead led by uncommitted 2022 from Fayetteville (AR), Jake Pannell. Pannell kickstarted the Prospect’s offense with a big fly following extra-base hits from Peyton Gorman, Sam Stephenson, and Karson Uecker.

Following the offensive outburst in the first, Dallas Nationals 17U started to slowly chip away at the lead. In the third inning, Landen Jeter took matters into his own hands and blasted a three-run home run to cut the deficit to only three. All weekend long the Nationals played with passion and flair which was evident by their extravagant bat flips and not backing down from any challenger. This team was not going to just roll over in a game for all the marbles.

Throughout the middle innings, the Nationals pitching staff started to settle in and worked out of trouble after rolling up two 6-4-3 double plays. Heading into the seventh inning, it was going to take a vast array of heroics to push the game into extras.

The top of the seventh started with a bang as Dallas Nationals’ Hayden Sobecki turned on a first pitch fastball and belted it over the left field wall. After two more reached base, Landen Jeter stepped up to the plate with a three-run home run already in his back pocket. After laying off a first pitch ball, Jeter turned around an inside fastball and blasted it over the left field fence to give the Nationals a one run lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Prospects were in search of at least one run to extend the game and keep their hopes of winning the Championship Game alive. With Sawyer Duddleston due up second, the Prospects knew that they had a chance with the weekend’s top hitter waiting in the wings. Duddleston, who had already racked up a ridiculous four home runs on the weekend, had one more big fly in him as he took the third pitch he saw and crushed it to tie the game at 8-8.

With both teams running low on pitching, the Nationals took advantage in the top of the eighth and took an 11-8 lead after a couple of great at bats and patience at the plate. With the game hanging in the balance, The Prospects put together a furious comeback in the bottom half of the inning that was capped off by a two-run hit from Pannell to tie the game once again.

After another back-and-forth inning, the Nationals took a four-run lead heading into the bottom of the 10th. Once again, Duddleston was looking for an opportunity to leave his mark on a game that had turned into an instant classic. With the Prospects down to two outs, Duddleston was granted one more opportunity with the bases loaded to tie the game. Duddleston did no disappoint as he teed off on a 2-0 pitch and tallied his second home run of the game and sixth of the weekend to extend the game once again.

Finally after four plus hours of thrilling baseball, the Prospects overcame the Nationals on a ball put in play by none other than Jake Pannell. Two runs came across in the bottom of the 11th to finally decide a winner in one of the most thrilling games in the history of Five Tool events. This one gave Game 5 in the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros a run for its money. We saw everything from bat flips to clutch home runs and left fans on the edge of their seats all evening long.

Players on both sides will reminisce about this thrilling matchup for many years to come.

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