EMERSON, Ga. – The CBA Matadors 14u were able to down the Columbia Warriors Hill on Wednesday 9-1. With the win, CBA improves to 6-1 at the 14u WWBA National Championship and advances on to Thursday’s playoffs.
Starting pitcher Gavin Meyer was as good as advertised on Wednesday, tossing five strong innings in the Pool A victory. After giving up a triple to the opening batter of the game, Meyer was seemingly dominant, allowing just two more hits over the course of his outing.
Meyer, who is a native of Hemet, California, was up to 82 with his fastball on Wednesday, a six mph jump from his last Perfect Game outing in January. Meyer would strike out just three Warriors batters in the complete game effort, but noted his strong defense and run support as a key to the win.
“It gives you a lot of confidence when your hitters can put up runs like that,” said Meyer. “After the leadoff triple, I knew I needed to flush it and work on my mistakes. Our infield did the job today too.”
Equally as impressed in Meyer’s outing was CBA head coach Edgar Garcia. Garcia, whose son Ryan pitches at UCLA, knows a good outing on the mound when he sees it and was happy with the effort today.
“He was lights out today,” said Garcia. “After that [leadoff triple] we talked to him about not letting it get to him and that the bats were going to come through. He just really stayed on a good tempo today and was very under control. That was key for him and he ended up giving us just a great outing.”
On the offensive side of things, the second hitter in the CBA Matadors lineup, Jordan Lopez, had an outstanding day. Lopez was 3-for-3 with 3 RBI. With only five total hits for CBA on Wednesday, Lopez was able to provide the timely knocks when his team needed it.
“It feels really good to be moving on,” said Lopez. “I was just looking to put something in the gap all day to score my guys in and pick us up. Our goal was to treat it like a championship game and have each other’s backs today. That's what we did.”
Though we don't often see this California-based CBA program out at LakePoint, they are no stranger to success. Over 350 players in the CBA program have committed to playing college baseball, and two CBA alumni were taken in the first round of this June’s MLB Draft in Nick Madrigal (Oregon State) and Cole Winn. In total, 19 CBA alumni were taken in this year’s draft, making CBA one of the premier programs for development in the country.
“Our overall goal is all about the developmental piece of things,” said coach Garcia. “It is a great program for a lot of the kids that are over there in California. My son actually went through it and now he is playing college ball at UCLA. It teaches these kids not just how to be baseball players but how to be men.”
For those that don't know, CBA stands for California Baseball Academy. CBA aims to attend the top events in the nation, as well as hosting their own, to provide their players with the maximum amount of exposure possible.
“These guys understand what we mean when we say it's a privilege to be out on these fields. We’re out here having a good time and playing some good baseball so hopefully we can keep it going.”
After today’s win, this CBA squad’s next test will either be Wednesday night or Thursday morning in the first round of this year’s WWBA 14u National Championship playoffs. Playoff games start Wednesday evening with a pair of games and conclude on Friday morning with a championship game at LakePoint.
“What has kept us going is the drive of our guys.” Garcia added. “They are having fun out here and playing loose baseball. When you play loose baseball it is normally good baseball, and these guys are ready to do it.”