Americus Travelers earn runner-up honors at AAU National Championship
Published 1:06 pm Saturday, July 15, 2017
By MICHAEL MURRAY
VERO BEACH, Fla. – The Americus Travelers hit the road for Vero Beach, Fla. This past week to take part in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) National Championship tourney.
After a strong showing from the Americus-based team, the Travelers won five games in the six-day tournament, eventually falling in the championship match-up to return home with runner-up honors in the AAU.
The Travelers kicked off their stint in the tournament on July 7 with a tilt against Wiregrass Cardinals – Blue, a team which had previously defeated the Americus crew during the Matthew Jernigan Invitational in mid-June.
The Travelers took a 6-2 defeat in their tourney opener, though they would get another crack at the Wiregrass Cardinals – Blue two days later.
The Travelers returned to the diamond with a vengeance later that afternoon, dealing a 13-5 blow to Colorado Gold due, in part, to a homerun off the bat of Cameron Vanlerberghe.
The next morning, the Travelers hit the field again to take on the Wiregrass Cardinals – Red. After a fierce battle, the Travelers took their second “L” of the week before taking a break and gearing up once more to take on the GATA Wolfpack.
The Travelers turned their luck around in game two of the afternoon, defeating the GATA Wolfpack 14-3.
With a 2-2 record going into day three of the championship tournament, the Travelers hit the field once more on July 9 to avenge their earlier loss at the hands of the Wiregrass Cardinals – Blue. In a fierce test of their skills, the Travelers handed the Wiregrass Cardinals – Blue a 3-2 loss.
After a day of rest, the Travelers looked for a repeat performance against number-one tournament seed, the Wiregrass Cardinals – Red on July 11. Their opponents had plans of their own, however. In a heated match-up, the Wiregrass Cardinals – Red handed the Travelers a 9-8 defeat, though the teams would meet on the diamond twice more during the tournament.
For their second game of the day, the Travelers donned their navy and orange again to battle Colorado Gold, dealing their opponents a 9-8 loss before taking another day to rest and gather themselves.
With four wins under their belts, the Travelers entered the final day of the tournament with confidence. The team took on the Wiregrass Cardinals – Red once more, taking down their opponents 4-3 and earning the Americus-based squad a spot in the championship game.
With one game standing between them and the AAU championship, the Travelers took the field to duel against the Wiregrass Cardinals – Red for their final match-up of the summer 2017 season.
After a lively tilt, the Travelers eventually succumbed to the Wiregrass Cardinals Red, conceding an 8-0 defeat and drawing the curtain on their 2017 campaign.
The Travelers finished the season as runners-up in the AAU nationals with an overall record of 13-12.