Player of the Week – LBA Naturals Blue 12u
We did something a little different for this week’s Gulf Coast Orthopedics Player of the Week, as the entire LBA Naturals Blue 12u team was nominated!
On Wednesday, LBA Naturals Blue 12u became world champions, winning the 2020 Bring The Lumber Tournament in Branson, Missouri.
The Naturals started off the tournament dominating by going undefeated in pool play.
The young athletes carried that momentum into the bracket play, with their closest game prior to the championship coming in the semifinal, when they secured a comfortable 6-2 win.
However, the championship went down to the wire.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Naturals Blue were down 7-6. Then, Jorge Pertuit hit a walk-off, three-run homer to seize the victory.
“It was an absolute bomb,”said coach Seth Hebert. “When it left the bat, it was like I was 12 years old again.”
Hebert said he definitely felt his team had a shot to win it all going into the tournament. “I told them hard work pays off and when you play at LBA and you represent the name that is on the front of your chest, and you play the game the right way, and you work hard every single day, good things are gonna come.”
His players have worked day in, day out through lessons and practice, Hebert said, and showed up in every tournament they played in. “We’d play good. Then we’d maybe have a little hiccup, but it was about overcoming adversity,” he continued.
Hebert highlighted the dedication of his players, as they put in the work on their own, despite being separated from the team due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Since day one, they worked their tails off, and it paid off.”
“I watched every one of these kids grow as young men, and I’m just proud of every one of them,” Hebert added. “I do it for every one of the kids I coach: I keep in touch with these kids throughout their journey as baseball players — and young men.”
Watch video of the thrilling walk-off below: