Rising Powhatan High School senior the winning pitcher in WWBA National Championship game, named MVP for Wilson Premier Championship East tournament
There is a new national champion from Powhatan.
Brandon Eike, a rising senior at Powhatan High School, won his first-ever national title by helping his Canes National 17u team win the Perfect Game WWBA 17u National Championship, 8-3 over Dallas Patriots 17u Stout at the LakePoint Sports Complex in Georgia on July 5.
“It’s huge – that’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world,” Eike said. “It’s a pretty big accomplishment to do it with a group of guys that I’m close with and I like to play with.”
Eike’s Canes National 17u team – comprised of Division I talent from all over the United States – went 12-0 in the 376-team tournament, which began June 28.
He earned both the start and the win on the mound in the Canes’ championship game, pitching the first three and two-thirds innings and limiting the opponents to 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 batters.
“It’s awesome, the amount of people who come to watch – just a big stage,” Eike said. “It just propelled me to do my best.”
Eike said his fastball in the tournament was in the 89-91 range; according to Perfect Game, he was also throwing a 76-mph curveball. His velocity has consistently gotten faster, and Eike credited those increases to staying in shape. He also noted that the Canes’ strength coach Josh Reidt keeps the players straight with arm care and gives them the right workouts to do before every game.
The Canes’ dominant showcase in the Georgia tournament came on the heels of their Wilson Premier Championship East (2020 Grads) title, which they won 3-0 over the Coastal Prospects on June 26 in Florida. Eike was named that tournament’s MVP. He told media after that game that his approach was “just going out and throwing strikes, knowing I’ve got a group of guys that’s going to make plays behind me – not trying to overpower them or overthrow or do too much.”
Eike has been a dynamic player all over the field. In the spring, he helped his young Powhatan Baseball team reach the 2019 regional quarterfinals with multiple 15-strikeout performances and a big bat that drove the ball deep for multiple extra-base, runner-plating hits. Eike earned 2019 All-State honors for both pitcher and shortstop and was also named the Region 4B Player of the Year for baseball.
Playing with the Canes, Eike has gotten to pitch against elite talent from all over the country.
“Every guy you saw was a D1 guy, so you always have to have in the back of your head knowing that they can do damage if you mess up,” Eike said. When trying to best them, he said it’s about “mainly not trying to pitch away from them [but] just trying to pitch with my stuff and have confidence and let them hit it.”
All of Eike’s Canes teammates, he said, have helped to inspire his play, as he’s been picking up something new “from every single one of them.”
With the Canes continuing to play in out-of-state tournaments this summer, Eike said that “being on the road for this long of a time just really makes you bond with other guys and become close with them, and in turn play well together and mesh well.”
“We’re just all a tight-knit group,” Eike said. “We’re all really close, we all hang out, all together.”