Midwest Stripes Claim 12U NTIS Champions Cup Crown

Gold medal marks the region’s first at the NTIS Champions Cup

CARY, N.C. – The Midwest Stripes claimed the gold medal at the 12U National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup on Sunday at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina, with a 3-2 defeat of the South Stripes. The victory marks the Midwest region’s first NTIS Champions Cup gold medal.

The Midwest Stripes got the scoring started early in the contest after Jacob Seamon cranked a leadoff double and came across on an RBI groundout off the bat of Griffin Boesen for a 1-0 lead. They added one more in the top of the second with a sacrifice fly that allowed Dominic Talaga to score and make it a 2-0 game.

One inning later, Blake Ragsdale led things off with a single to shallow center and Boesen then collected his second RBI of the game with a single to left field that brought in Ragsdale and gave the Midwest Stripes a 3-0 advantage.

Using a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out, Midwest threatened to add to its lead in the top of the fourth but a clutch flyout and a play at the plate got the South Stripes out the jam to keep it a three-run game and take the momentum into the bottom half of the fifth.

After keeping the Midwest squad scoreless through the fourth and fifth innings, the South Stripes put together a rally in the bottom half of the fifth that got them within one. With two runners on and two outs, the South took advantage of a Midwest miscue to plate two runs and make it a 3-2 game heading into the sixth.

The Midwest Stripes wrestled back control in the final two innings, though, with Elijah Jungwirth on the mound. Jungwirth allowed just one hit and collected two strikeouts in the final two innings to hold onto the 3-2 victory and secure the gold medal.

“It’s bigger than just the team, it’s the entire region,” said NTIS Midwest Regional Director Rich Janor. “The Midwest region has never won the Champions Cup, we’ve never brought the gold medal home, so I couldn’t be more excited for our region and what these kids were able to accomplish here today.”

The South Stripes finished with the 12U NTIS Champions Cup silver medal after a strong week in Cary, while earlier in the day, the Northwest Stars earned the 12U NTIS Champions Cup bronze medal when they took down the Northwest Stripes, 12-6. The Northwest Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the contest and never looked back, adding runs in the second, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to keep the Stripes at bay and seal the bronze.

The 2021 NTIS Champions Cup will wrap up next week with its final two age groups as the 11U and 14U regional squads battle it out for their respective gold medals before an overall regional winner is named. The final weekend of the 2021 NTIS Champions Cup will run from August 25-29 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex and Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.