The 2013 Perfect Game East Cobb Invitational tournament ended in disappointment for Jarrett Wright when his Team Georgia Baseball Academy 15-U Blue squad lost in extra innings in the quarterfinals at Pinecrest Academy in early June.
But Wright got noticed anyway.
The Lambert rising sophomore led five Forsyth players who were named to the All-Tournament team. North Forsyth rising junior Caleb Dixon, West Forsyth rising sophomore Caleb Pruitt, Lambert rising sophomore Turner Scruggs and Forsyth Central rising sophomore Hunter Bauman were all picked in the 14-U/15-U divisions.
Dixon, Pruitt and Scruggs were named to the all-tournament team as pitchers. Dixon had an impressive start for the Fat Cat Thunder, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings while striking out seven to earn the win. Pruitt got a win for Team Demarini GA, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out six in four innings. In one appearance, Scruggs was lights out for GRA 15-U Orange throwing seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and two walks and striking out nine.
Bauman and Wright were named as hitters. Both were tough outs during the tournament. Bauman hit .444 (4-for-9) with two RBIs and two stolen bases for the Fat Cat Thunder. Wright hit .615 (8-for-13), good for seventh in the 14-U/15-U division, with three doubles, three RBIs, two stolen bases and six runs scored for Team Georgia Baseball Academy 15-U Blue.
"I was just trying to help the team out any way I could," Wright said. "Get on base as much as I could, get RBIs, score runs. I was feeling good at the plate. I saw the ball well and just tried to hit the ball hard up the middle."
Their performances over the summer are surely good signs for their respective high school teams should they warrant a promotion to the varsity. Dixon’s North program was a respectable 12-14 last season. Pruitt’s West went 16-12 and reached the Class 6A playoffs with a young team. Bauman’s Central went 16-10 and finished fifth in Region 7-AAAAA, just shy of a state playoff berth.
Scruggs and Wright could join a Lambert team that was 17-10 and finished runner-up in Region 6-AAAAAA. The Longhorns were swept in the first round of the Class 6A tournament by North Gwinnett.
Wright got a taste of the playoff atmosphere with the Longhorns as a late-season call-up from the ninth grade team. He said "it was fun, it was crazy" and he’s dedicated this summer to preparing himself to make the varsity team next season.
"I’ll try my hardest this summer to get prepared to [make varsity]," Wright said, "and get as much playing time as I can. [Summer] is really crucial. I’ve got to try my hardest to get as good as I can."
So there’s no time to waste. This week, Wright’s Team Georgia squad is participating in the 2013 Perfect Game 15-U National Championships. It’s another chance to get at-bats, to see more pitches, to perfect his skills which might get him more playing time for a Lambert team that should be in playoff contention again.
"We’re going to have a really solid team," Wright said.