SANFORD, Fla. — In what will go down as one of the most dominant performances in a Perfect Game event ever, Dulin’s Dodgers 16u Prime made its way through the 16u Perfect Game World Series without giving up a single run, taking home the championship by way of a 9-0 victory over Top Tier Roos American 2024 on Friday afternoon.
This was not an instance of a team technically giving up zero earned runs, although sloppy defense saw them give up six unearned runs, or something like that. No, over the course of nine games in five days, the Dulin’s Dodgers pitching staff did not let one runner cross the pay station.
The funny thing is, Dulin’s Head Coach Chris Godwin wasn’t entirely sure they would have enough pitching for the 16u World Series, according to Tim Dulin.
“Talking to Chris, he really didn’t think he had enough arms to get through it,” Dulin said. “We’ve never carried big rosters. The majority of this club has been together for the last three years.”
The list of pitchers who put up zeros for Dulin’s Dodgers is obviously long. Ian Garza led the charge on the mound and was named MV-Pitcher of the tournament. Garza, an uncommitted righty out of Frisco, Texas, tossed 10 2/3 innings across two appearances, striking out 10 and giving up just three hits.
Michael Catalano tossed 5 2/3 innings and struck out 10. Landon Karrh carried a large load, finishing off 11 scoreless innings and inducing plenty of soft contact. Jonathan Van Eerden threw seven scoreless innings, Owen Lawson completed five. Diego Gonzalez, Kyle Branch, and Logan Jenkins all put zeros. Parker Bowman tossed 5 2/ scoreless innings in the semifinals, and Zachary Henderson gave up just two hits over five scoreless innings in the championship game before a run-rule victory sealed the tournament shutout.
The competition was as good as it gets, as well. Over the course of the tournament, Dulin’s Dodgers blanked five nationally ranked programs at the 16u level – 5 Star National 16u Gold (No. 90), Power Baseball 2024 Marucci (No. 5), Florida Heat Baseball (No. 17), Alpha Prime 2024 (No. 17), Original Florida Pokers 2024 (No. 79), and Top Tier Roos American 2024 (No. 11).
Heading into the final day, Godwin realized his team hadn’t given up a run yet. He made a point to mention that to his squad, using it as motivation. Traditionally, you don’t mention a no-hitter when you’re in the middle of one. Godwin took it head on, and it really worked on his roster.
“The pitchers were challenged to go out there and throw strikes,” Dulin said. “We really preach to our guys to pitch to contact, and we’ve got really good players in the field. They’re going to make plays.”
It certainly wasn’t easy. Nine games in five days and figuring out which arm is going out there for each of those innings is like putting a big puzzle together.
And it might be a similar feeling now to when someone finishes off one of those daunting 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzles. The roster and coaching staff can sit back together and really take in what they just accomplished.
There will never be another organization that can say they gave up fewer runs than them in a Perfect Game tournament.
“It’s just an amazing feat for these guys,” Dulin said. “Everybody that’s played in these events knows it’s a grind…It’s a super group of kids, and I’m super proud of them.”
2022 16U World Series
🏆 Champion: Dulin’s Dodgers 16U Prime – Godwin
🥈 Finalist: Top Tier Roos American 2024
🏅MVP: Brooks Sartain
🏅MVPitcher: Ian Garza