Texas Twelve Takes 16U National Team Championships North Carolina Gold Medal

Texas Twelve narrowly defeats Dulins Dodgers Prime to earn their second gold medal of the 2022 National Team Championships North Carolina

CARY, NC – Texas Twelve came out on top in a close one-run matchup with Dulins Dodgers Prime to exit the gold medal match victorious by a score of 3-2 at the 16U National Team Championships North Carolina on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

After Dulins Dodgers Prime scored quickly in the top of the first on an RBI single to right field by Brooks Sartain, Texas Twelve immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning. Braylon Payne and Nathan Hodge recorded consecutive singles to jump start the offense with Caden Miller bringing Payne home to tie the game. Isaiah Castaneda grabbed the 2-1 lead on an RBI single to score Hodge.

The Dodgers wouldn’t go down without a fight as Owen Lee laced an RBI double to right center field to tie the game up at 2-2 in the top of the third. Texas Twelve retook the lead after Joshua Crisp, Jr. led off the bottom of the fourth with a double down the left field line, and Marco Gonzales provided the go-ahead RBI on a sacrifice fly to bring Crisp home for the 3-2 lead.

With two runners on and two outs, Payne saved the day for Texas Twelve making an incredible diving play in left field to keep Zach Grigalis from putting Dulins Dodgers on top. Once again, the Dodgers attempted to fight back in the top of the seventh as Kendyl Johnson executed a sacrifice bunt moving Michael Catalano to second base with two outs. Brady Corcoran sealed the deal for Texas Twelve forcing Kyle Branch to line out to left fielder Payne.

The Texas Twelve offense notched 10 hits with seven batters in the lineup recording at-least one hit with Payne, Hodge, and Mason Jacob providing multi-hit efforts.

Nolan Veeder dealt 6.1 innings and allowed two runs on five hits to earn the win for Texas Twelve. Corcoran received the save, entering in relief to record two outs, including the line out to end the ball game. Andrew Perry suffered the loss for Dulins Dodgers Prime, allowing three earned runs in three innings on the bump.

Game Highlights:

  • Kyle Branch led the game off with a single to center, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored the first run of the game for a Dodgers 1-0 lead via an RBI single to right field by Brooks Sartain.
  • Braylon Payne and Nathan Hodge hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the first. The duo initiated a successful double steal to move into scoring position. Miller drove Payne in on an RBI single, tying the game 1-1, but was thrown out advancing to second by catcher Matthew Mainord.
  • Isaiah Castaneda quickly took the 2-1 lead for the Dodgers by bringing home Nathan Hodge on an RBI single.
  • Owen Lee doubled to right center field to bring in Kendyl Johnson and score the game-tying run in the top of the third.
  • Joshua Crisp, Jr. laced a double down the left field line to open the bottom of the fourth. This forced a pitching change for Dulins Dodgers Prime as Andrew Perry was relieved by Ian Garza.
  • Joshua Crisp Jr. grabbed the lead 3-2 by scoring on a sacrifice fly from Marco Gonzales after advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mason Jacob.
  • Texas Twelve threatened in the bottom of the fifth by loading the bases with just one out, but Ian Garza halted the scoring threat with a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning.
  • Braylon Payne laid out to make a diving catch down the left field line to keep the Dodgers from scoring with two outs and two runners on in the top of the sixth.

Notable Information:

  • With the 16U gold medal victory, Texas Twelve earned their second gold medal of the 2022 National Team Championships North Carolina after winning the 17U tournament.
  • Braylon Payne finished the tournament with a .435 average (10-23), hitting two doubles, five runs batted in, and seven runs scored for Texas Twelve.
  • Nolan Veeder concluded the tournament with 10.1 innings pitched, six strikeouts, and a 1.36 earned run average after earning the win in the gold medal game for Texas Twelve.
  • Texas Twelve was dangerous on the base paths all tournament, stealing 27 bags in seven games and only being caught stealing four times.
  • Kyle Branch led Dulins Dodgers Prime with eight hits and five runs scored from the leadoff spot.


Nolan Veeder on winning gold…

“Winning gold is amazing. Braylon making an amazing diving play is just surreal. Nolan back there calling a great game. It’s just amazing. It’s a lifetime moment and I’ll never forget this.”

Braylon Payne on his performance offensively throughout the tournament…

“Coach just kept picking me up when I was down. I was struggling at first and I found a groove changing my batting stance. He made me realize I’m a really good hitter and kept pushing me.”