2022 18+ National

WPB Thunder 4, Atlanta Giants 1

Submitted by Mike Soulen, Thunder manager

For Shawn…Two weeks prior to playing in the Fall Classic, the WPB Thunder lost one of its most popular and skilled players, 26-year-old Shawn Chiaramonte, in a jet-ski accident. Shawn loved the game, loved his teammates, and you would always find a smile on his face no matter the situation. You would be hard-pressed to find a better human being. 

Shawn loved playing in tournaments and first played in the Fall Classic (18+ division) in 2019. He was lucky enough to win a championship that first year, playing on a team filled with players from his local league on a team named Palm Beach. Shawn would continue playing with the Palm Beach team in 2020 and 2021, but 2022 was going to be his first year playing with more of his regular teammates, as the WPB Thunder had entered their own team. 

As always, this year’s tournament brought in tons of teams loaded with talented players. Each game was a battle from start to finish, and the championship game against the Atlanta Giants was no different.

After pitching three innings in the Semi-Final, Caleb Pitts started for the Thunder and left the game after 4 2/3 innings with a 3-1 lead. Erick Abreu, who had also pitched three innings earlier in the day, tossed the final 4 1/3 innings in relief.

With the Thunder leading 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Giants loaded the bases with no outs via an error and back-to-back singles. Running on fumes, Abreu rose to the occasion as he struck out the next batter, induced a ground out, and struck out the last batter of the game to secure the win.  

Every player deserves a shout-out, but Michael “MJ” Jordan was named the tournament MVP. MJ played phenomenal defense, had key hits, was a spark when the team needed it, and did it all with a big smile on his face. 

Thunder players will have “For Shawn – RIP #24” inscribed on the inside of their championship ring.  

Until we meet again Shawn…