Midwest Stripes Earn 12U Crown at NTIS Champions Cup

Walk-off win gives Midwest its second straight 12U title

CARY, N.C. -- After a pitchers’ duel sent a scoreless game into extra innings, the Midwest Stripes topped the Southwest Stripes, 2-1, in the gold medal game at the 12U National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup.

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the eighth, the Midwest got to work quickly to score its first run of the game. Tristan Castelar opened the inning with an RBI single to right field to plate Logan Woodbury, who started the inning on second base due to international tiebreaker rules. Then, after the Southwest turned a crucial double play to keep the game tied, an error on a hard grounder off the bat of Drake Foxen gave the Midwest a walk-off 2-1 win.

The game-winning rally came after the Southwest grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded and nobody out, an error allowed the Southwest to score the first run of the game. But the Midwest defense stopped the bleeding after that, turning a double play to retire the side and keep within striking distance before they delivered the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth.


  • After both sides went down in order in the first, Aiden Vargas singled for the Southwest to notch the first hit of the day.
  • Eric Shim hit a two-out single for the Southwest in the top of the fourth but Kip Allen coaxed an inning-ending pop out to keep the game scoreless.
  • The Midwest put a runner on when Chase Johnson singled with two outs in the fourth but he was erased on a caught stealing to retire the side.
  • Alexander Savov singled to right field with a runner in scoring position for the Southwest in the top of the fifth, but the runner was thrown out at the plate as the Midwest preserved the scoreless tie.
  • The Midwest put two runners on in the bottom of the fifth before Josiah Park escaped the jam with a lineout to short.
  • Josiah Park and Kip Allen continued to exchange zeroes to send the game to extra innings, where the Southwest grabbed a 1-0 lead when Alexander Savov hit a hard grounder to third base to plate the run.
  • Tristan Castelar singled on a ground ball to right field to open the Midwest’s half of the eighth and tie the game at one, scoring Logan Woodbury, who was placed on second base due to international tie breaker rules.
  • With two outs and two on, Drake Foxen hit a hard ground ball to third base that bounced out of the third baseman’s glove and scored the game-winning run for the Midwest.


  • The gold medal is the Midwest’s second consecutive title at the 12U NTIS. The program also captured gold last summer, knocking off the South.
  • Including the bronze medal victory on Sunday, the Midwest now owns four medals in its history at the NTIS.
  • The Southwest Region now has two medals at the 2022 NTIS after winning gold in the 15U tournament last week.
  • Kip Allen started for the Midwest and turned in six shutout frames, scattering five hits and striking out five. He turned the ball over to Chase Johnson, who finished the game with two strong innings.
  • The Southwest got strong pitching in the loss, as Josiah Park tossed seven shutout innings and allowed just two hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
  • Tristan Castelar had two of the Midwest’s three hits in the victory, also driving in a run. The other hit for the gold medal winners came from Chase Johnson.
  • Aiden Vargas had a game-high two hits for the Southwest. The squad also got one hit from each of its top four hitters in the lineup.
  • The Southwest’s Jayden McClean caught two runners attempting to steal in the loss.