Former Augusta Christian star Josh Whitaker and Greenbrier standouts Nolan Belcher, Brandon Cumpton and Jeff Rowland just concluded a nice run at the Perfect Game World Wooden Championship in Cobb County, Ga.
As members of travel ball powerhouse The Savannah Chain, the group led the way to a semifinals appearance in what has become the premier summer baseball tournament in the United States. More than 140 teams played at more than 10 sites across the Marietta, Ga., area, which brought scouts from every major college program and every Major League team.
The Chain eventually lost 9-1 in the semifinals to the South Charlotte Panthers, but finished with an impressive 7-1 record.
Surprisingly, neither Belcher nor Cumpton, who were undefeated for the week, pitched in the semifinals loss. To navigate through a field of more than 140 teams was impressive enough, but there were several other noteworthy stories stemming from this event.
Most notable were Belcher and Cumpton's performances. Each had the crowds buzzing as they threw no-hitters on successive starts. Also, in Cumpton's no-hit effort, Whitaker hit a home run.
In the events' quarterfinals round, The Chain beat The Ohio Warhawks 4-2. The Warhawks roster was chock full of area players, including former Silver Bluff star Demetrius Washington, Laney rising junior Cameron Stallings, Burke County lefty Brandon Love and former Washington-Wilkes flame-thrower Demont Gresham.
It was incredible to have so many great area players on the field at the same time in such a huge national event.
In the end, Chet Lemon's Juice knocked off South Charlotte 4-3 to claim the title. Congratulations to all the area kids who performed so well on such a big stage.
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