Canes National Takes Down Elite Squad in 17U National Team Championships North Carolina Gold Medal Game, 10-3

Canes defeat Elite Squad to conclude the 2023 17U National Team Championships North Carolina

CARY, N.C. - PJ Morlando went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs as Canes National (5-0-1) defeated Elite Squad (3-2-1) 10-3 in the gold medal game of 17U National Team Championships in North Carolina.

With the win, Canes National secured an undefeated record and the gold medal. This marks the program’s first gold medal at the 17U level and second overall at the National Team Championships. Morlando led the team in hits and runs batted in throughout the tournament with six hits and four RBIs, while Zach Swanson pitched a combined 6.0 innings and collected a staff-leading 13 strikeouts.

Elite Squad received the silver medal for the event.


  • After a scoreless first, Canes National jumped out to a hot start in the bottom of the second by plating six runs on two hits. A walk and hit batter put runners on before Devin Fitz-Gerald hit a double to left that allowed the first run to come home. The next batter was hit by a pitch, and that was followed up by three consecutive walks that each drove in a run for Canes National. Morlando then stepped up to the plate and hit a two-RBI single that established a 6-0 score.
  • Canes National’s offense wasn’t done yet, as it collected four more tallies in the third. Two walks and a Fitz-Gerald single loaded the bases prior to another walk driving in the seventh run. Burke Mabeus contributed a sac fly that allowed two more runs to score. The tenth and final run for Canes National came after Dean Moss grounded out to second base.
  • Elite Squad didn’t go away quietly. Ethan Puig led off the fourth with a double, and then two straight hit batters loaded the bases. Jason Marcos then picked up two RBIs thanks to a single to right field. A fielding error by Canes National allowed another runner to score and put the third and final run of the game on the board.
  • Elite Squad loaded the bases in the sixth, but Canes reliever Nathan Aceves forced a pop out to left that ended the inning. He went on to capture three straight outs in the top of the seventh to end the game and secure the victory for Canes National. 


  • Fitz-Gerald, Moss, and Mabeus each led Canes National with two RBIs.
  • Aceves was strong on the mound for Canes National, striking out three batters and allowing just one hit in three innings of action.
  • Elite Squad reliever Alejandro Ludiero turned in a solid performance, collecting two punch outs and surrendering a hit in two innings of work.