Ethan Rex, Eli Nellis And PA Playmakers 12U Teammates Claim Back To Ball Tournament

(Photos submitted) Front – Luca Mezzanote Standing (L-R)- Adam Jackowski, Eli Nellis, Nicky Kramer, Taco Verroco, AJ Kramer, Ethan Rex, Kaleb Jackowski, Carmen Oliva and Ryan Cameron. Not Pictured – Trevor Rinck

The PA Playmakers 12U Baseball travel team, based out of New Castle, opened their 2021 Season with a Championship win at the Back to Ball Tournament hosted by the Marauders Baseball Club in Buena Vista.

The Playmakers outscored their opponents 64-7 through their 5-0 Championship run, in the tournament held Saturday, April 10th and Sunday April 11th. Ethan Rex and Eli Nellis are the only two local kids on the team which has kids from Ohio, South Allegheny, Butler and Neshanock.

The PA Playmakers organization travels extensively throughout the Eastern United States. This Year they will be playing a schedule that could potentially see 100+ games in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina.  Travel Ball Rankings have the Playmakers as the Number Two preseason team in Pennsylvania.

Ethan and Eli are a big part of this train, with each playing significant roles for the team. Ethan is the team’s shortstop and number four hitter, as well as being one of their top pitchers. Eli is their lead off hitter and center fielder as well as a pitcher.

Scores and Ethan’s and Eli’s game-by-game highlights:

PA Playmakers opened the weekend, on Saturday, with a 13-1 win over Monroeville. Eli was 2-for-2 at the plate and Ethan went 1-for-3. Eli had 4 stolen bases, with Ethan stealing one

PA Playmakers second game, also on Saturday, saw them defeat Marauders Baseball Club 12-4. Ethan was the winning pitcher and also was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3, including a homerun. Eli went 2-for-4.

Opening their Sunday action, PA Playmakers shut out Burrell 16-0. Eli had a 2-for-3 game at the plate, while scoring three runs. Ethan hit his second homerun of the tournament, while going 1-for-3 and driving in three runs.

PA Playmakers followed that game with a 13-3 win over Montour. Eli went 3-for-4, with an RBI, while stealing two bases. Ethan hit another homerun, while going 1-for-3, with two runs batted in. Ethan also stole two bases.

Then it was on to the Championship Game, where PA Playmakers faced Burrell for a second time. This one ended with PA Playmakers claiming the title with a 10-2 victory. Ethan hit his fourth homerun of the tournament. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Eli scored twice, while going2-for-4.

Ethan’s and Eli’s Tounament totals:

Ethan went 7-for-15 (.467), with 4 homeruns and 3 singles, driving in 7 runs and scoring eight runs. Ethan walked once and stole two bases. He wet three innings in his first mound appearance, striking out four to pick up the 12-4 victory over the Marauders.

Eli was 11-18 (.611), with 10 singles and a double, driving in three runs. Eli scored 11 runs. He walked once and stole eight bases.   

The PA Playmakers will travel to the Trafford area the weekend of April 24th and 25th, to play in the Opening Day Showdown at UPMC All-American Park.

(Congratulations to Ethan, Eli and all the PA Playmakers!!!!)