Todd Fitz-Gerald Leads 2024 Original Florida Pokers to 2nd Straight BCS National Championship
2024 Original Florida Pokers. {Courtesy}

By: Matt Rothman 

The dominant run for the Original Florida Pokers 17u baseball team continued, recording nine victories in the 108 team field to win their second straight BCS National Championship in Fort Myers on Thursday.

The Pokers finished the tournament with a record 9-0-1 and improved their record this summer to 22-1-1. Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald called this team a bunch of winners. 

“Obviously, it was an awesome run, and being able to coach these guys for the last couple of years has been awesome,” Fitz-Gerald said. “They are really fun to coach and watch play. I couldn’t be happier for them and the coaches. It was really a great run. Just a little local travel team with local players trying to get better every day and compete at the highest level.”

Offensively, the Pokers were led by Niko Benestad, who finished with 11 RBIs and knocked in at least one run in seven games. Rylan Lujo added eight RBIS, while Anthony Quigley hit two home runs and drove in six. Gavin Gargiulo also homered. Alex RodriguezEJ Burns, Payton Miller, Ethan Askin, and AJ Perry all drove in two runs, while  Reese Burton also knocked in one. The Pokers had 19 doubles, one triple and stole 33 bases. 

On the mound, JP Querelas earned two wins, while Luke Cherry, Andrew Raucci, Quigley, Jayden Dubanewicz, Gargiulo, Breylnn Courtney, and Brayden McCluskey had one. They struck out 77 hitters in their ten games, with Gargiulo winning MVP at pitcher with ten scoreless innings and 11 punch outs. 

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Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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