USA BASEBALL NEWS

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San Diego Show Captures Gold at 11U Futures Invitational

Seven-run second inning lifts San Diego to first-ever Futures gold
June 25, 2023
CARY, N.C. – A seven-run second inning lifted San Diego Show to a 10-3 win over Top Tier in the 11U Futures Invitational title game on Sunday afternoon at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. The gold medal is the first in program history for San Diego Show, which

CARY, N.C. – A seven-run second inning lifted San Diego Show to a 10-3 win over Top Tier in the 11U Futures Invitational title game on Sunday afternoon at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.

The gold medal is the first in program history for San Diego Show, which has now captured five total 11U Futures medals. Top Tier’s silver medal is its second in program history and third total gold medal after it won gold in 2017.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Top Tier struck early with a run in the first inning, when Chase Smith scored on an RBI groundout by Johnathon Hode after drawing a walk, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt, and stealing third.
  • Top Tier doubled its lead in the second thanks to Braden Murray’s run-scoring single to center field, allowing Justice Williams to cross home plate after he started the frame with a single up the middle.
  • San Diego Show exploded for seven runs on four hits in its half of the second to take a commanding 7-2 lead. The first run scored on a wild pitch, and then Ted Conway’s RBI single three at-bats later knotted the score at 2-2.
  • A sacrifice fly, followed by back-to-back RBI groundouts and a Top Tier error drove in four more runs to make it 6-2. Wyatt Peabody’s line drive single to score Carson Reis from third capped off San Diego Show’s scoring in the second.
  • An RBI single by Murray got Top Tier back within four in the top of the third.
  • San Diego Show grabbed another run in the bottom of the third when John Kauffmann singled and came around to score on an RBI groundout by Dylan La.
  • A two-run fourth, thanks to a Mateo Parker sac fly and an RBI groundout by Kauffmann, helped San Diego pull away even further and take a 10-3 lead.
  • Silas Entrekin smoked a two-run double and Reis drove him home to cap off the 13-3, run-rule victory and secure the 11U Futures title.

NOTABLE STATS

  • Peabody had a game-high three hits and an RBI to lead San Diego. Entrekin drove in a game-high three runs, also adding two hits and two runs scored.
  • Saul Alejandro Gomez and Entrekin combined to pitch five innings of three-run ball, allowing six hits and striking out three.
  • Murray’s two-hit, two-RBI day paced the Top Tier offense. Hode had the only other RBI for the silver medalists.
  • San Diego Show has won five total 11U Futures medals. The program won silver in 2016 and 2017 followed by bronze in 2018 and 2019.
  • Top Tier now owns three total medals at the 11U Futures Invitational.
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San Diego Show, Top Tier Clinch Spots in 11U Futures Title Game

June 25, 2023
TOP TIER 7, SOUTHERN NEVADA BASEBALL 2 On the strength of a strong outing by Charlie Kohman, Top Tier beat Southern Nevada Baseball, 7-2, to clinch its spot in the 11U Futures Invitational title game. Kohman was lights-out for most of the morning for Top Tier as his offense provided

TOP TIER 7, SOUTHERN NEVADA BASEBALL 2

On the strength of a strong outing by Charlie Kohman, Top Tier beat Southern Nevada Baseball, 7-2, to clinch its spot in the 11U Futures Invitational title game.

Kohman was lights-out for most of the morning for Top Tier as his offense provided four runs of support throughout the game. He pitched to contact in the victory, only striking out one batter while scattering eight hits and two runs.

As Kohman dominated, the Top Tier offense got to work in the third inning with five consecutive singles to open the scoring. Derrick Camejo and Justice Williams picked up back-to-back knocks with the bases loaded, putting Top Tier in front 2-0. A leadoff double in the fourth then ended up coming around to score, making it a three-run lead for Top Tier.

Kohman kept holding Southern Nevada off the scoreboard as his offense continued to roll in the fifth and sixth frames. In the fifth, Williams delivered his second RBI hit of the day with a run-scoring double before an RBI double in the sixth made it a 5-0 advantage for Top Tier.

After Top Tier added two in the top of the seventh, Southern Nevada was able to crack the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame. RBI singles by Austin Bustamante and Mateo Munoz made it a 7-2 score, but Top Tier stopped the rally and secured the five-run win.

Top Tier’s offense was explosive in the win, collecting 20 total hits. Camejo had a four-hit day to carry the offense, also driving in a run. Kohman and Williams combined for five hits and four RBIs. For Southern Nevada, Trevor Mangan led the way with a pair of hits.  

SAN DIEGO SHOW 7, LET THEM PLAY NATIONAL 3

A sixth-run second inning carried San Diego Show past Let Them Play National, 7-3, in the semifinal round of the 11U Futures Invitational.

In a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second, San Diego exploded for six runs to take the lead and then pull away. The first run was plated on an error before Saul Alejandro Gross’ two-run double made it a 3-0 edge for the Show.

Silas Entrekin kept the rally going in the second, singling to right field to plate the inning’s fourth run. Carson Reis followed with an RBI single before a sacrifice fly by Pierce Ferrell capped the offensive outburst, giving San Diego a 6-0 lead after two.

Let Them Play bounced back in the third to cut its deficit in half. Colton Byrnes got his team on the scoreboard in the third with an RBI single, followed by Ty Glaus’ RBI double to make it 6-2. Ashten Aguailar drove in the third run of the third inning, grounding out to bring Byrnes home and make it a three-run deficit.

The two sides exchanged zeros in the following innings. Let Them Play got the tying run to the plate in the fourth thanks to a pair of walks, but Reis got a strikeout looking to escape the jam. They threatened again in the top of the fifth–drawing a two-out walk–but were unable to scratch a run across.

After Entrekin added an insurance run with a two-out knock in the bottom of the sixth, San Diego Show locked down the final three outs to secure its spot in the title game.

Entrekin’s three-hit day led the way for San Diego in the win. He, along with Gross, each tallied two RBIs. Reis and Ferrell also drove in runs for San Diego. For Let Them Play, Colton Byrnes and Michael Ohman each collected two hits. Aguailar, Byrnes, and Glaus had the RBIs for Let Them Play.

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FEATURE: Troy Gerlach Relishes New Opportunity as 12U Manager

June 24, 2023
When Troy Gerlach makes his return to the dugout with USA Baseball at the WBSC 12-U Baseball World Cup in Taiwan this summer, he’ll be taking on a challenge previously unfamiliar to him throughout his lengthy coaching career. The veteran coach is not a stranger to this exact setting, having

When Troy Gerlach makes his return to the dugout with USA Baseball at the WBSC 12-U Baseball World Cup in Taiwan this summer, he’ll be taking on a challenge previously unfamiliar to him throughout his lengthy coaching career.

The veteran coach is not a stranger to this exact setting, having been a member of last year’s staff with the 12U National Team that recorded a perfect 8-0 record on its way to a gold medal and won USA Baseball’s 2022 Team of the Year award. Instead of returning to his previous role as an assistant, however, Gerlach will be stepping up as the team’s newest manager.

“Anytime you get asked to do anything with USA Baseball, it's an honor, and getting to put the uniform on is probably the highlight of my baseball career, to be honest with you,” Gerlach said. “To be the manager now, it's something I've always thought about and kind of worked towards. I don't know what it'll be like to put it on knowing that I’m in charge of everything, and there's a lot of pressure that comes with it to defend the gold and all the other stuff, but it's truly an honor to wear the uniform and to be a part of USA Baseball in any role.”

To many, tasking someone with leading a group looking to bring home its second consecutive gold medal in their national team managerial debut might seem like a big ask. Thanks in large part to his experience during last year’s run, though, Gerlach feels like he is more than ready for the opportunity he has been given.

“It was very beneficial because I’ve always been with the older kids,” Gerlach said about his time working as an assistant with the team in 2022. “To be with the 12s last year and to be going back to Taiwan, I know exactly what to expect. There’s nothing that’s going to go on that will surprise me.”

Another reason that Gerlach feels confident heading into his new role is the support system that he has cultivated over the past year. He has maintained good relationships with the rest of the gold-medal-winning staff, including his predecessor R.J Farrell and fellow assistant Tanner Vesely, and he has not been afraid to lean on them while preparing for his newest venture.

“Last year, R.J. was awesome, and Tanner has been there before as a manager as well,” Gerlach said. “[I’ve been] able to learn from those two and bounce ideas off of them even now, like starting to put the team together and all that good stuff. It’s been a true blessing to be able to have those guys in my back pocket.”

Despite his inexperience in managing a national team of his own, Gerlach is no rookie when it comes to coaching as a whole. He has worked in a number of different roles with USA Baseball beyond last year’s stint with the 12U team, including as an assistant coach with the 2018 15U National Team that won the gold medal at the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup and as a member of the staffs at the 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) in 2016, 2017, and 2019 and the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League in 2021.

Outside of USA Baseball, Gerlach has enjoyed great success as a manager at the high school level in Arizona. He currently runs the show at Chaparral High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.), where he has posted an overall record of 56-34 in his four seasons with the team since joining on in May 2019. Prior to that, he coached at Arcadia High School (Phoenix, Ariz.) and led them to a record of 110-84 with four Arizona Interscholastic Association Baseball State Tournament appearances in seven seasons.

All of this is to say that Gerlach knows what it takes to be successful in a variety of different circumstances as a coach. As he has learned recently, though, leading the youngest national team in the USA Baseball ranks offers its own set of unique challenges, and overcoming these to get the best out of this new group of players is something that he has come to really enjoy.

“The 12U kids are wanting to learn, and they’re hanging on to every word you say because it’s really their first time being at the national level,” Gerlach said. “Depending on what kind of club organization they come from, it’s really the first time they’ve been really coached on things like bunt plays, hit and runs, first and third plays, cuts and relays. They just want to learn, and it’s pretty cool.

“On the field, I mean, I feel why they’re there. It’s off the charts. I tell people all the time, you’d be surprised what it’s like with a 12-year-old at the national level, with how athletic they are and how quickly they pick up on things. It’s pretty awesome.”

For Gerlach, the ultimate objective as manager is obviously to bring another gold medal back home to the states. Beyond just that, however, he wants to build relationships with his players and make sure that they are set up for success in their careers well past their time in Taiwan this summer.

“It’s just the kickstarter to their baseball careers, to be honest with you,” Gerlach said. “Seeing the kids we had last summer, you’re watching them continue to develop a year out. You see them grow and you see the development that they have, and you just want them to get better, because like I said, it’s kick starting their career.

“It’s pretty cool to see them when you get them at Futures and into Training Camp, and then those kids that go on to make the team and how much they grow in the short time that we’re with them. It’s a relationship that you build, and you’ll have that for a lifetime with those kids.”

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Offensive Outburst Carries Premier Banditos to Gold at 10U Futures Invitational

Banditos score a run in every inning to earn first Futures gold
June 18, 2023
CARY, N.C. – The Premier Banditos jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to an 11-1 victory over ZT Prospects National in the 10U Futures Invitational Gold Medal Game at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. Premier scored once in the first before a

CARY, N.C. – The Premier Banditos jumped out to an early lead and never looked back en route to an 11-1 victory over ZT Prospects National in the 10U Futures Invitational Gold Medal Game at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Premier scored once in the first before a four-run outburst in the second inning helped it pull away for good. ZT Prospects National was able to put runners on base all afternoon but could not get many across home plate, collecting 14 hits but only one run.

The gold medal is the first in program history for the Premier Banditos, who finished runner-up in the 2022 tournament. ZT Prospects National’s silver medal is also its first after it won gold in both 2021 and 2022.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Cade Chapman was hit by a pitch in the top of the first and came around to score on the base paths to put Premier in front 1-0.
  • ZT looked primed to tie the game in the bottom of the first, but a runner was thrown out at the plate as Premier held onto its one-run lead.
  • Premier started its four-run second with two singles and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases, making way for Malacai Bullock to smoke an RBI double to put the Banditos ahead 2-0.
  • Jonathan Vannoy cranked a triple to left field to score two runs for Premier and Case Miller singled to drive Vannoy home and increase Premier’s lead to 5-0 in the second.
  • A bases-loaded walk drawn by Bullock extended the Premier Banditos’ advantage to 6-0 in the third.
  • ZT Prospects National cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the third and made the score 6-1 on an RBI single by Ruben Elias.
  • A sacrifice fly by Tobias Lowry followed by an RBI triple from Miles Torregano added two runs to Premier’s tally as its lead became 8-1 in the fourth.
  • The Premier lead extended to 10-1 when Beau Brian and Jacob Radow led off the fifth with singles and scored on a passed ball and sacrifice fly.
  • Chapman put the lid on Premier’s victory, scoring the final run of the game after singling and coming home on a wild pitch.

NOTABLE STATS

  • Ten different Banditos players collected at least one hit in the win. Brian, Chapman, Miller, and Radow all had multi-hit games.
  • Vannoy drove in a game-high three runs in the gold medal victory.
  • Dylan French tossed five innings and allowed just one unearned run. He scattered 13 hits, working in and out of trouble all afternoon to earn the win.
  • Four different ZT players had multi-hit afternoons, paced by Elias, Jacob Imposimoto, and Gomez’s three-hit performances.
  • The Banditos scored a run in every inning of the title game.
  • Premier Banditos earns its first-ever gold medal at the 10U Futures Invitational and second medal overall.
  • ZT Prospects National has secured a medal in each of the last three 10U Futures Invitationals, winning gold in 2021 and 2022 before this year’s silver.
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The Future Elite Comes From Behind to Take Down the New Level Nationals in 10U Futures Bronze Medal Game

Three-run sixth caps second comeback of the day, secures first medal in program history
June 18, 2023
CARY, N.C. – The Future Elite rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to cap a come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over the New Level Nationals in the 10U Futures Invitational Bronze Medal Game at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. Comebacks were the story of the day

CARY, N.C. – The Future Elite rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to cap a come-from-behind, 6-5 victory over the New Level Nationals in the 10U Futures Invitational Bronze Medal Game at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Comebacks were the story of the day for The Future Elite. After immediately falling into a 3-0 hole in the first, the bronze medalists came back to tie it in the third. Then, finding itself trailing again down to their final three outs, The Future Elite put together a three-run sixth before retiring the side in order to secure its first bronze medal in program history.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • After a pair of walks put two runners on with two outs in the bottom of the first, New Level’s Kellen McConaghy smoked an inside-the-park homer to the fence in right-center field to put his team in front 3-0.
  • The Future Elite immediately responded after falling into an early deficit on back-to-back RBI doubles by Jacob Delgado and Justin Cozier to trim the deficit to one in the second.
  • Despite The Future Elite loading the bases and threatening to tie the game later in the second, New Level starter Silas Wright coaxed two pop outs to first base to keep his team in front 3-2.
  • The Future Elite’s Andres Rodriguez scored on an error to tie the game at three in the top of the third.
  • New Level retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Wright and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to gain a 5-3 advantage.
  • Two consecutive walks put the tying runs on base for The Future Elite in the final inning. Both of those runners would eventually come around to score on an error, knotting the game at five.
  • After a sacrifice bunt put the go-ahead run on third with two outs, Aiden Nieto smoked a single back up the middle to plate the eventual-winning run and put The Future Elite in the lead at 6-5.
  • Felix Esqueda returned to the mound for the bottom of the sixth and retired the side in order to clinch the bronze medal for The Future Elite.

NOTABLE STATS

  • Andrew Mercedes led The Future Elite with a 2-for-2 game, also drawing a walk.
  • Esqueda delivered two no-hit innings of relief to earn the win, walking a pair and striking out one.
  • The New Level Nationals’ McConaghy had a two-hit day and drove in a game-high three RBIs.
  • Maximo Morales Monroy collected a hit for the New Level Nationals, giving him a team-high six hits in tournament play.
  • The bronze medal is the first-ever medal in tournament history for The Future Elite, which only won one game in the 2022 tournament.
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Premier Banditos, ZT Prospects National Punch Tickets to 10U Futures Title Game

After both falling behind early, Premier and ZT battle back for big wins
June 17, 2023
PREMIER BANDITOS 12, NEW LEVEL NATIONALS 2

PREMIER BANDITOS 12, NEW LEVEL NATIONALS 2

Despite the New Level Nationals jumping out to a two-run lead right out of the gate on Saturday morning, the Premier Banditos posted 12 runs over the second and third innings en route to a 12-2 win to clinch a spot in the 10U Futures title game.

A leadoff single by William Hemenway, a triple by Aaiden Brown, and a wild pitch put New Level in front 2-0 immediately in the top of the first. But Premier’s Malacai Bullock escaped without allowing further damage, making way for his offense to score 12 unanswered runs.

Tobias Lowry led off Premier’s half of the second with a single and advanced to scoring position on a Miles Torregano double. With two runners in scoring position and nobody out, a hard ground ball by Dylan French led to a New Level error, allowing two runs to score to knot the game at 2-2. After the Nationals coaxed a fly out for the first out of the inning, Premier rattled off four consecutive hits to take the lead and eventually pull away.

The hit parade began when Jacob Radow singled up the middle to put a pair of runners on. Bullock followed with an infield single to plate the go-ahead run before a two-run double by Jonathan Vannoy made it a 5-2 edge for the Banditos. Vannoy scored moments later on a Case Miller RBI knock, and the rally was capped by a sacrifice fly by Cade Chapman to put Premier in front 7-2.

After M. Brown held the Nationals off the board in the top of the third, Premier got right back to work in the bottom half of the frame with a two-out rally to put the game out of reach. Two singles and an error loaded the bases with two outs for M. Brown, who continued his hot day with a bases-clearing triple to right field. Vannoy followed immediately with a two-run, inside-the-park homer to put the finishing touches on the 12-2 semifinal round victory.

Four different Premier players had multi-hit games in the win. M. Brown and Vannoy collected two hits apiece and combined to drive in seven runs, while Lowry and Radow each tallied two hits. After the bumpy first inning, M. Brown settled in to pitch three innings of two-run ball. For New Level, A. Brown had a hit, RBI, and run scored while Hemenway contributed a single, a run scored, and a walk.

ZT PROSPECTS NATIONAL 9, THE FUTURE ELITE 2

ZT Prospects National fell behind by two runs in the top of the first but answered in the bottom half and never looked back, picking up a 9-2 win over The Future Elite to punch their ticket to the 10U Futures title game.

The Future Elite scored twice in the top of the first despite not recording a hit. After both reaching on walks, Aiden Nieto and Genaro Espinales III scored on the base paths to jump out to an early 2-0 lead.

ZT Prospects National did not stay behind for long as four consecutive hits to lead off the bottom of the first tied the game. James Gordillo and Rocco LaMotte started the frame with singles and an RBI double by Ruben Elias got ZT on the board. Dominic Gomez followed with a single to tie the game, and a Jacob Martinez RBI fielder’s choice made it a 3-2 advantage for ZT after one.

The hitting continued for ZT in the bottom of the second. Nathan Lasso singled before coming around to score on an RBI triple by Leonardo Villalobos to make it 4-2, and an RBI ground out extended the advantage to three. Both sides exchanged zeros in the third before ZT got back to work in the bottom of the fourth. Frankie Trejo and Lasso each picked up hits to reach base and scored on a single by Kaleb Burcham to go up 7-2.

As ZT’s pitchers kept The Future Elite off the scoreboard in the later innings, the offense continued to build on its lead. LaMotte and Elias both picked up hits to reach scoring position and Gomez added on an infield single to put ZT up 8-2. Martinez skied a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in ZT’s ninth and final run of the victory.

Nine different players picked up at least one hit for ZT, including Gomez’s two-hit, two-RBI day. Elias and LaMotte chipped in two hits apiece, while Martinez drove in two runs and Lasso scored twice.

ZT’s pitchers combined to hold The Future Elite hitters to just one hit. Trejo tossed 3.1 innings and allowed just the two runs (one earned) in the first, striking out six batters in the outing. Burcham turned in 2.2 innings of hitless relief.

UP NEXT

Premier Banditos will meet ZT Prospects National in the 10U Futures title game on Sunday morning at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. First pitch is set for 10:45 am ET. The New Level Nationals and The Future Elite will battle for bronze at 8:15 am ET.

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Q&A: New Level Nationals Coach Rayne Raven

June 16, 2023
Hailing from Puyallup, Washington, the New Level Nationals traveled a long way across the country for the 10U Futures Invitational. As one of just 16 teams competing in the event, the Nationals showed up to Thomas Brooks Park on a mission and delivered in a big way in their opening

Hailing from Puyallup, Washington, the New Level Nationals traveled a long way across the country for the 10U Futures Invitational. As one of just 16 teams competing in the event, the Nationals showed up to Thomas Brooks Park on a mission and delivered in a big way in their opening two games on Thursday. In the morning slate of games, the Nationals picked up a gritty 8-4 win in their tournament opener against the Austin Dirt Dawgs. The team followed that with a back-and-forth, extra-inning win over Canes West Futures to cap off a 2-0 day and position itself well entering the final day of pool play.

New Level Nationals coach Rayne Raven spoke to USA Baseball ahead of his team's pool play finale:

Q: “That was a wild game against Canes West Futures, ending with a 7-6 win for you guys. Talk about what you saw and how proud you are of your team?”

A: “Oh, man, I can't even explain how proud I am. I mean, [Dylan Loper] threw six innings and did absolutely amazing. He had a huge hit in the seventh inning. I mean, we battled…we had a guy come in with the bases loaded no outs, right? These guys have no quit. That was probably the best 10U game I have ever seen.”

Q: “What are some of the messages you share with your team before they take the field for this tournament at USA Baseball?”

A: “There are only 16 teams that have a chance to do this. It’s a special thing for these guys. I just tell them to go out and have fun and enjoy the moment. I told them to be a good teammate and ultimately just have fun.”

Q: “What do you tell them about the importance of soaking in the experience?

A: “This is why they play baseball. It’s a great opportunity – they get good exposure from USA Baseball, which is every kid's dream to play for their country. So, it’s just an amazing opportunity.”

Q: “Like you said, only 16 teams get to be here. Talk about the competition level and the talent that you see on the field, on your team and the teams you're playing against.”

A: “I think it's incredible. You look at the pitchers and see that they aren't really walking people. People are making plays; I don't think there was an error on either side of both of our games [yesterday]. It’s just that the talent is out of this world. It really is a privilege for these guys to come here and battle.”

Q: “You had two big wins to open pool play. What do you guys have to do to win the pool and move on to bracket play?”

A: “We’ve just got to play our game. Just like we come into every game, right? We feel like we're the underdog and we just come out and compete every time and that's something we got to do. We’ve just got to make pitches and we’ve got to make plays.”

The New Level Nationals are back in action on Friday morning, taking on Wow Factor National at 10:45 am ET from Thomas Brooks Park. To follow along with all of the action from the 10U Futures Invitational, follow @USABEvents on Instagram and Twitter.

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10U Futures Invitational Day One Social Roundup

June 15, 2023
A busy day one is in the books at the 10U Futures Invitational in Cary, North Carolina. With 16 teams from across the country vying for the Futures crown at Thomas Brooks Park, the action was nonstop from dawn until dusk. Catch up on all the biggest headlines from today's

A busy day one is in the books at the 10U Futures Invitational in Cary, North Carolina. With 16 teams from across the country vying for the Futures crown at Thomas Brooks Park, the action was nonstop from dawn until dusk. Catch up on all the biggest headlines from today's action:

Canes West Futures jumps out to early lead and never looks back against Wow Factor National

Backed by a seven-run first inning, Canes West Futures picked up a 13-0 win over Wow Factor National in morning action. Leadoff hitter Joshua Park had a big day at the plate for Canes, driving in three runs and scoring twice. Grady Gentner added a three-hit day, while Jonas Ayala and Bryant Rodriguez combined to one-hit Wow Factor National.

Austin Dirt Dawgs notch first win in high-scoring affair

After dropping their tournament opener, the Austin Dirt Dawgs bounced back in their second game of the day for a 14-9 win over Wow Factor National. Davis Wrubel led the offensive charge for Austin, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Tripp Southwell contributed a pair of hits and three runs scored.

I Am United opens play with nailbiter victory over Knights Elite

A three-run fifth inning propelled I Am United past Knights Elite, 6-5, in its opening game on Thursday. Lucas Williams had two hits in the win, driving in a trio of runs, while Michael Bolufe and Isaias Rodriguez had RBIs. Rodriguez allowed no earned runs in three innings on the mound.

The Future Elite squeaks past the Texas Sun Devils in walk-off thriller

A back-and-forth battle ended with a walk-off win for The Future Elite over the Texas Sun Devils in a pool play opener on Thursday. After Texas tied the game in the top half of the sixth, Genaro Espinales III delivered a walk-off single to lift The Future Elite to the 4-3 win. Andres Rodriguez reached twice and drove in three runs for The Future Elite in the win.

New Level Nationals pick up epic win over Canes West Futures

Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the sixth, Canes West Futures stormed back to tie the game and send it to extra innings. But the New Level Nationals exploded for four runs in the top half of the extra frame–with three coming off the bat of Dylan Loper–and held off another Canes rally in the bottom of the seventh to pick up a 7-6 win. William Hemenway turned a crucial double play in the seventh to halt the Canes rally, and Maximo Morales Monroy picked up a strikeout to secure the win.

The action continues at the 10U Futures Invitational on Friday with the conclusion of pool play. Games are set to get underway at 8:00 am ET before a second slate gets underway at 10:30 am ET. The 10U Futures Home Run Derby will follow at 3:00 pm ET at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

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Premier Nationals Capture Gold at 11U Futures Invitational

June 26, 2022
Win: Gaines Loss: Pettinato Save: Taylor | Box Score | Plays
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
SBA 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 7 5
Premier 2 4 0 0 5 1 X 12 8 0

Win: Gaines Loss: Pettinato Save: Taylor | Box Score | Plays

CARY, N.C. -- After falling short in the title game in 2021, the Premier Nationals took down Showcase Baseball Academy, 12-4, to win the 2022 11U Futures Invitational on Sunday afternoon at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.

After falling into an early 3-0 hole in the top of the first, Premier bounced back for two runs in the bottom of the inning and four runs in the bottom of the second to take control of the contest. After Carter Holder hit the game-tying single in the third, Dylan Mercado delivered a three-run triple to give Premier a 6-3 lead. The Nationals added five runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to break the game open and pull away with their first Futures Invitational title in program history.

Mercado drove in four runs in the win to carry the Premier offense, also drawing a walk in the gold medal win. Major Ciers and Cash Ericcson each had two hits for the Nationals and Ciers added a pair of RBIs in the offensive outburst. Ericsson, Holder, and Grey Taylor each scored two runs in the victory. SBA got two hits from Graham Huffstettler in the defeat.

Tristin Gaines tossed four innings and allowed just the three early runs to earn the win for Premier and Taylor pitched the final three frames to notch the save. Colton Pettinato surrendered the loss for SBA.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

  • SBA nabbed three quick runs in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead. Mason Mackay delivered the game's opening run with an RBI single before he and Huffstettler scored on a pickoff attempt to give SBA a 3-0 lead.
  • Premier answered in their half of the first on a sacrifice fly by Mercado and an RBI groundout by Quinn Neal, trimming the deficit to 3-2.
  • Holder singled to the right field in Premier's half of the third to drive in Ericsson and tie the game at three.
  • With the bases loaded and two outs in the third, Mercado roped a bases-clearing triple to right field to plate three runs and give the Nationals a 6-3 lead.
  • Both sides got solid pitching in the middle innings, as Gaines and Taylor combined to keep SBA off the scoreboard and Chase Woodley pitched well for SBA to hold Premier's offense in check.
  • Premier used a big five-run fifth to put the game out of reach. After Neal doubled to lead off the frame, Ty Chambless drove him in to make it 7-3. Two batters later, Ericsson socked a double and Ciers hit a two-run triple as the Nationals grew their lead to 10-3.
  • Woodley scored on a wild pitch to cap the five-run rally for Premier, giving the Nationals an eight-run lead after five. Chambless drove in another run in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 12-3.
  • SBA plated a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI groundout by Ryder Sheffield, but Taylor induced a game-ending groundout to end the game and secure the gold medal for Premier.

NOTABLE INFORMATION

  • With the win, the Premier Nationals secured their first Futures Invitational gold medal in program history.
  • Mercado finished the tournament with a .500 average (8-for-16), driving in nine runs throughout the tournament to help lift Premier to the gold medal.
  • Holder scored a team-high nine runs in the tournament for the gold medalists. He batted .381 (8-for-21) in six games played.
  • Premier finished the tournament with a combined 3.00 ERA. Mercado (1.68) and Ciers (1.91) had the two lowest ERAs for the Nationals.
  • Woodley had a .412 average (7-for-17) throughout the tournament for SBA. He hit a pair of doubles and drove in a team-best five RBIs, also scoring three runs.
  • The silver medal is SBA's first-ever medal at the Futures Invitational.
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Premier Nationals to Meet Showcase Baseball Academy in 11U Futures Title Game

Premier, SBA each pick up two bracket play wins on Saturday to set stage for Sunday finale
June 25, 2022
Premier Nationals 8, ZT Prospects National 5 The Premier Nationals got revenge from last year’s 11U Futures title game, taking down ZT Prospects National, 8-5, in semifinal action. After ZT Prospects got on the board immediately in the first, the Nationals took the lead and then went back and forth

Premier Nationals 8, ZT Prospects National 5
The Premier Nationals got revenge from last year’s 11U Futures title game, taking down ZT Prospects National, 8-5, in semifinal action. After ZT Prospects got on the board immediately in the first, the Nationals took the lead and then went back and forth until an explosive fifth inning helped them pull away.

Nine different players had at least one hit for the Nationals, with Cash Ericsson and Dylan Mercado leading with two hits apiece. Liam Barry, Ericsson, and Quinn Neal each drove in two runs in the win for Premier. ZT’s offense was led by two-hit efforts from Adam Allet, Eli Martinez, Caleb Lozano, and Mason Smith.

Mercado earned the win for Premier, turning in 5.1 innings and allowing five runs (two earned). He was replaced by Chase Cook, who got the final five outs and allowed just two hits. Martinez suffered the loss for ZT Prospects.

Game Highlights

  • After tossing a scoreless top of the first inning, Martinez drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single to plate Trent O’Malley and give ZT Prospects a 1-0 lead.
  • The Nationals immediately answered in the top of the second, loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before Barry singled to left field to give Premier a 2-1 edge.
  • Premier’s Mercado responded well to the run support on the mound in the second, tossing a perfect frame to give the Nationals a shutdown inning.
  • ZT Prospects was able to scratch a run across in the bottom of the third. Mannix Renfro was hit by a pitch and Allett singled, followed by another RBI single by Martinez to knot the game at two apiece.
  • In the bottom of the fourth, ZT Prospects scored again to take the lead. With two outs and two on, Lozano singled on a line drive to left field to give his squad a 3-2 edge.
  • Premier National immediately responded in the top of the fifth, exploding for six runs to open up a big lead. The rally started when Cook slammed a two-run double to give Premier a one-run lead, and continued when Carter Holder singled to put Premier in front 5-3.
  • The lead was extended to five for Premier National when they tacked on a trio of runs in the fourth on defensive miscues by ZT Prospects.
  • ZT Prospects crept a little closer in the bottom of the sixth, scoring twice to make it 8-5. The first run came on a single by Lozano followed by a sacrifice fly from Kason Burger to make it a three-run game.
  • Cook secured the final three outs in the seventh to punch Premier's ticket to the title game.

Notable Information

  • The game was a rematch of last year’s 11U Futures title game, which resulted in a gold medal for ZT Prospects in 2021.
  • The Nationals had five hits in their six-run fifth inning, including three consecutive knocks early in the frame.
  • Mercado is now batting .500 (7-for-14) in the tournament and has at least one hit in all five games played for the Nationals.
  • Martinez also raised his tournament batting average to .500 (7-for-14) and has now driven in seven runs across five games for ZT Prospects.
  • With the win, Premier advances to the 11U Futures Invitational title game for the second consecutive year.

Showcase Baseball Academy 1, Braves Baseball Academy 0

Showcase Baseball Academy was able to hold a powerful Braves Baseball Academy offense scoreless in route to a 1-0 shutout win to clinch a spot in the 11U Futures title game.

SBA scratched a run across in the top of the second and then spent the rest of the game playing strong defense to keep the Braves off the board and secure the win. The only run of the game came on an RBI single by Layton Saliba in the second inning.

Graham Hufstetler got the win for SBA after tossing 5.0 shutout innings, scattering five hits and striking out three. Colton Pettinato entered for the final batter and induced a game-ending ground out to get the save for SBA. Despite throwing a complete game, Parker Visage got the loss for the Braves after allowing just a single run on six hits.

Game Highlights

  • Visage worked around a one-out hit in the top of the first to keep the game scoreless in the opening frame, and Hufstetler did the same for Showcase as the game stayed scoreless in the early going.
  • Hufstetler led off the top of the second inning with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Saliba to give SBA a 1-0 lead.
  • The Braves got a leadoff single from Mateo Mier in the bottom of the second, but Hufstetler coaxed a big double play to escape the inning and keep the Braves scoreless.
  • SBA put a runner in scoring position in their half of the third when Pettinato hit a two-out triple, but an inning-ending groundout thwarted the scoring chance.
  • Another opportunity came for SBA to extend the lead in the top of the fourth when they hit back-to-back singles, but a double play retired the side and kept the game 1-0.
  • The Braves started their half of the fourth with a pair of singles to open the inning before lining into a double play as the game remained a one-run contest.
  • The scoring chances came few and far between in the final few innings, as Ryder Sheffield and Pettinato combined to pitch the final two frames to secure to win.

Notable Information

  • The win was SBA’s second shutout of the day, as they beat Knights Elite, 4-0, in quarterfinal round action on Saturday morning.
  • SBA has now allowed just six runs over the tournament’s first five games.
  • The Braves had a potent offense up until this point, combining to score 43 runs in their first four games before the shutout.
  • Visage’s complete game came on a 73-pitch effort, as the Braves’ starter was dominant aside from the early run.
  • With the win, SBA secures a spot in the 11U Futures title game for the first time in program history.
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GBG San Diego's Max Villalva Wins 11U Futures Home Run Derby

June 24, 2022
CARY, N.C. -- GBG San Diego's Max Villalva put on a dominant performance at the 2022 11U Futures Invitational Home Run Derby on Friday night, cranking 12 homers in two rounds to secure the derby trophy. Villalva hit five homers in the first round to advance to the championship round,

CARY, N.C. -- GBG San Diego's Max Villalva put on a dominant performance at the 2022 11U Futures Invitational Home Run Derby on Friday night, cranking 12 homers in two rounds to secure the derby trophy. Villalva hit five homers in the first round to advance to the championship round, and then cranked seven dingers in the finals to win it.

Villalva homered all over the ballpark in the derby victory, spreading the homers around. His first-round showing put him into the final round against One National's Andres Armenta, Carolina Cardinals' Mason Karraas, ZT Prospect National's Eli Martinez, and Premier Nationals' Quinn Neal. Martinez and Neal each cranked five homers in the final round, but Villalva was able to pull away with the seven-homer showing.

The derby featured 23 participants, with each competing in the first round before the top five contestants moved on to the final. The National Training Complex was jumping all derby long, with players' teammates and families heavily invested in the result.

Villalva is currently batting .556 (5-for-9) in the 11U Futures Invitational, leading the offensive attack for GBG San Diego. He has a hit in all three of the team's games, including multiple hits in each of his last two. Villalva has already locked in a spot at 2022 12U National Team Trials via last year's National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup.

He was only one of three batters to hit double dit homers on Friday night, along with Martinez and Neal.

The 11U Futures Invitational gets back into action on Saturday morning, with the semifinal round set to kick off at 10:45 a.m. at Middle Creek Park in Cary, North Carolina.

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RJ Farrell Article

12U National Team Manager RJ Farrell Brings Gold Medal Mentality to 11U Futures

Farrell, USA Baseball Task Force dialed in during 11U Futures in Cary
June 23, 2022
CARY, N.C. – At this week’s 11U Futures Invitational in Cary, North Carolina, 24 teams from across the nation are competing for gold medals and the right to take home to Futures trophy. And while they do that, 2022 12U National Team Manager RJ Farrell and the USA Baseball Task

CARY, N.C. – At this week’s 11U Futures Invitational in Cary, North Carolina, 24 teams from across the nation are competing for gold medals and the right to take home to Futures trophy.

And while they do that, 2022 12U National Team Manager RJ Farrell and the USA Baseball Task Force will watch the tournament unfold with another medal in mind: the 2022 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-12 Baseball World Cup gold medal.

Farrell and the task force have a big task in front of them as they prepare to build the 2022 12U National Team. While they have already identified and selected 12 players from last summer’s 11U National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup to compete at 12U National Team Trials, 24 more athletes from the Futures Invitational will receive an invite by the tournament’s end on Sunday.

Farrell feels lucky to have such a strong group of task force members to assist in the player identification process.

“This task force is amazing and they’re going to get after it,” Farrell said. “We’re focused on building the roster out the right way. They’re veterans in every way in terms of player evaluation and understanding these kids.”

The roster that the staff is focused on building will be the team that travels to Tainan, Taiwan, for the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. Team USA is looking to return to the top of the podium, as the program won back-to-back gold medals in 2015 and 2017 before falling short in 2019.

The Futures Invitational, which brings together 24 of the country’s best travel programs for a four-day tournament across two different locations, is the primary identification event for the 12U National Team. USA Baseball’s eight-person task force is locked in on every pitch, play, and moment, ensuring that they will put together the best possible 36-man Trials roster.

While evaluating, Farrell is looking for more than just talented players.

“We’re looking for kids who can play the game at a really high level,” he said. “Then, as we get through the week, we’ll start seeing the character aspects and the maturity of these young men. Ultimately, to make a national team, it takes a mature young man.”

Part of that character evaluation comes throughout the week at Futures. The task force makes a point to chat with the players before and after games, making sure they get to know every aspect of the player and person before extending an invite to Trials.

 After Futures concludes on Sunday with the crowning of a tournament champion, the work for the staff has just begun. The Trials roster will be finalized shortly after, and the work toward trimming that roster to a final 18-man roster will be underway.

At Trials, players will endure four days of intrasquad games, athletic assessments, and more to give the coaching staff a better idea of who will be the perfect fit for Team USA. It’s a process that will be new to most – if not all – of the participating players.

“These guys will go into four days of intense training with the national team staff and Trials coaches,” Farrell said. “It will be like something these guys have never been through.”

The experience will be a memory for the athletes, and will serve as a major point of development early in their baseball careers. At the conclusion of Trials, Farrell and his staff will be ready to name the final roster for the 12U National Team, moving the process yet another step closer to Team USA’s trip to the WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup.

Although this is Farrell’s second year serving on field as manager of the stars and stripes, it will be his international managerial debut in 2022. In 2021, amidst uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, Farrell led Team USA to a 3-0 record in exhibition play. Now, he will be at the helm the U.S. travels internationally.

That has added a bit more meaning to the entire process.

“When we did this last year, we still were a little unsure what we were going to be doing in the summer,” Farrell said. “This summer, we know exactly what we’re doing. We’re going to Taiwan.”

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ZT Prospects National Completes 10U Futures Title Defense With Gold Medal Win

June 19, 2022
CARY, N.C. – ZT Prospects National (CA) completed its title defense at the 10U Futures Invitational on Sunday, taking down Banditos DeLeon (TX), 8-1, at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. ZT Prospects National took a quick lead in the bottom of the first and then built on the

CARY, N.C. – ZT Prospects National (CA) completed its title defense at the 10U Futures Invitational on Sunday, taking down Banditos DeLeon (TX), 8-1, at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.

ZT Prospects National took a quick lead in the bottom of the first and then built on the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs to give them a 4-0 edge. The runs came on back-to-back RBI singles by Salvador Garcia and Jacob Miller, which were two of the four hits for the squad in the eventful third frame. ZT Prospects National then added four runs in the fifth, with two of them coming on a single by Garcia.

The Banditos battled to get back into the game but had multiple rallies halted before they could get on the scoreboard. Salvador Garcia kept the Banditos’ offense at bay all game long, turning in5.2 innings of one-run ball to earn the win. Garcia struck out five and allowed just four hits in the win. Despite pitching well, Reese Pogue suffered the loss for the Banditos.

ZT Prospects National got production from the top of their lineup, with Garcia, Miller, and Ju combining for seven RBIs in the victory. Steven Holguin and Chase Meka each scored two runs in the win for the gold medalists. Maddox McBryde, Boston Targac, and Ian Yarbrough combined to tally the four hits for the Banditos.

Game Highlights

  • Garcia was locked in from the first pitch, retiring the Banditos in order to open the game in the top of the first.
  • After reaching on an error to lead off the bottom of the first, Humphris advanced to third and scored on an RBI groundout by Ju to open the scoring and give ZT Prospects National a 1-0 lead.
  • Garcia retired nine of the first ten batters he faced, carrying the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third for ZT Prospects National. The squad then eventually loaded the bases before Garcia and Miller notched back-to-back singles to give ZT Prospects National a 4-0 advantage.
  • The Banditos nearly cracked the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, putting two runners on with one out, but Garcia coaxed a strikeout and a ground out to escape the jam and keep the Banditos off the board.
  • Holguin and Meka both singled to open the bottom of the fifth inning, and both were plated on another RBI single by Garcia. Garcia would eventually come around to score as ZT Prospects National’s lead grew to 8-0.
  • McBryde tripled in a run in the Banditos’ final frame, driving in Targac to get on the board before Amari Kirschner entered to seal the victory for ZT Prospects National.

Notable Information

  • With the win, ZT Prospects National has now won back-to-back 10U Futures Invitational titles, becoming the first program in event history to accomplish the feat.
  • ZT Prospects National finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record, outscoring opponents 47-10.
  • The Banditos finished runners-up at the 10U Futures Invitational for the first time in program history.
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ZT Prospects National to Meet With Banditos DeLeon in 10U Futures Gold Medal Game

ZT Prospects National will look to defend 2021 gold in title game
June 18, 2022
CARY, N.C. – The gold medal game is set at the 2022 10U Futures Invitational. Looking to defend their 2021 title, ZT Prospects National (CA) will battle Banditos DeLeon (TX) on Sunday in the title game at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina. The matchup comes after ZT Prospects

CARY, N.C. – The gold medal game is set at the 2022 10U Futures Invitational.

Looking to defend their 2021 title, ZT Prospects National (CA) will battle Banditos DeLeon (TX) on Sunday in the title game at Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina.

The matchup comes after ZT Prospects National and Banditos DeLeon both earned semifinal round victories on Saturday.

ZT Prospects National 6, WFBA Hammerheads 1

After ZT Prospects National opened the scoring on an RBI groundout by Steven Holguin in the bottom of the third, the team broke the game open with a huge hit in the bottom of the fourth. With two runners on and no outs in the frame, Salvador Garcia cranked an inside-the-park homer to deep right field to plate three runs and give ZT Prospects National a four-run edge.

The WFBA Hammerheads chipped away and cut the lead to 4-1 in the fifth, but ZT Prospects National added a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to secure the semifinal win. Garcia had a game-high four RBIs, going 1-for-3 in the win. Bryant Ju (2-for-2) and Gavin Sumter (2-for-2) both added a pair of hits for ZT Prospects National, while Carson Behr (1-for-2) tallied the only hit for the WFBA Hammerheads.

Jacob Miller got the start on the mound for ZT Prospects National and twirled a gem, throwing a complete game and allowing just one run and one hit with five strikeouts. Hampton Maddox suffered the loss for the WFBA Hammerheads, allowing four runs over four innings.

Game Highlights

  • Miller got ZT Prospects National off to a strong start on the mound, striking out the side in the top of the first.
  • After Ju singled for the game’s first hit in the bottom of the first, Maddox escaped trouble with a pick off and a fly out to keep the game scoreless.
  • Miller and Maddox exchanged scoreless frames again in the second inning before the WFBA Hammerheads put a runner on base with two outs in the third. Ju erased the runner with a caught stealing to retire the side.
  • Sumter singled and was sacrificed over on a bunt by Amari Kirschner before eventually scoring on an RBI groundout by Holguin to open the scoring and give ZT Prospects National a 1-0 lead.
  • ZT Prospects National kept the foot on the gas in the fourth, hitting back-to-back singles before Garcia’s three-run homer broke the game open. The homer came on a deep fly ball to right field, and Garcia was able to score standing up.
  • The WFBA Hammerheads battled back in the top of the fifth, scoring on an RBI groundout by Michael Wedgeworth to trim the deficit to 4-1.
  • Garcia drove in another run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI fielder’s choice and ZT Prospects National capped off the scoring with another run to give them a 6-1 lead that they would go on to win by.

Notable Information

  • Miller threw just 50 pitches in the complete-game win, tossing 45 strikes. He faced 19 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of them.
  • Zachary Humphris scored a pair of runs for ZT Prospects National, touching home plate each time he reached base.
  • ZT Prospects National put together nine hits in the win.
  • With the win, ZT Prospects National clinched their spot in the 2022 10U Futures Invitational Gold Medal Game.

Banditos DeLeon 8, San Diego Show 2

Although the game was a pitchers’ duel entering the third, Banditos DeLeon put up four runs in the third and another four in the sixth to knock off the San Diego Show (CA)

in the 2022 10U Futures Invitational semifinals.

Banditos opened the scoring with an offensive explosion in the top of the third, scoring four times over a four-batter span to take control of the game. San Diego Show responded with two runs over their own over the next two frames, but Banditos answered back with another four-run inning in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach.

Banditos got six hits in the game, all coming from different players. Tanner Oberholter drove in two runs to lead the offensive attack, while Brayden Worthen and Case Miller chipped in a pair. Silas Entrekin had a game-high two hits, pacing the offense for San Diego.

Boston Targac turned in five innings of two-run ball to earn the win for Banditos, scattering six hits while striking out two. Entrekin surrendered the loss for San Diego, allowing four runs on three hits.

Game Highlights

  • Targac and Entrekin exchanged zeroes in the first two innings, with Targac escaping a jam in the first.
  • Mason Salinas was hit by a pitch to lead off Banditos’ half of the third, and Ian Yarbrough followed that with a single and the runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt to put two into scoring position. Brayden Worthen followed with a base-hit through the left side to plate the game’s first run and give Banditos a 1-0 edge.
  • The score quickly became 2-0 in favor of Banditos when Yarbrough was plated on an error in the third.
  • Banditos scored two more in the third, as Worthen and Miller touched home on wild pitches to extend the lead to four.
  • After winning the home run derby on Friday night, Carson Reis got San Diego Show on the board in the bottom of the third with an RBI single to right field to trim the deficit to 4-1.
  • San Diego Show continued battling in the bottom of the fourth, making it a 4-2 game on an RBI single by John Kauffman.
  • Looking to add insurance runs in the top of the sixth, Banditos put four runs on the board to give them an 8-2 lead. Yarbough opened the scoring on a wild pitch before Salinas and Oberholter smoked doubles to make it a six-run game.
  • Reese Pogue fired a perfect inning in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win and a spot in the title game on Sunday.

Notable Information

  • Salinas scored a game-high two runs in the win.
  • Targac threw 10 first-pitch strikes to the 13 batters he faced.
  • San Diego Show put at least one runner on base in each of the first four innings, but Targac was able to evade trouble and keep Banditos in front.
  • With the win, Banditos clinched their spot in the 2022 10U Futures Invitational Gold Medal Game.

The 2022 10U Futures Invitational title game will take place on Sunday morning at 10:45 am ET from Thomas Brooks Park. Follow along with all of the action on Twitter!

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San Diego Show's Carson Reis Wins 10U Futures Home Run Derby

June 17, 2022
CARY, N.C. -- In front of an energetic crowd at the 10U Futures Invitational Home Run Derby, Carson Reis of the San Diego Show took home the trophy with a strong final-round performance. Reis cranked five homers in the last round, pulling away from the rest of the field to

CARY, N.C. -- In front of an energetic crowd at the 10U Futures Invitational Home Run Derby, Carson Reis of the San Diego Show took home the trophy with a strong final-round performance.

Reis cranked five homers in the last round, pulling away from the rest of the field to clinch the trophy. After he smoked two roundtrippers in the first round, including one to the opposite field, Reis hit two more homers than anyone else in the final round.

Reis competed in the final round against Tyler Early (One National), Kolt Hampton (Knights Elite), Bryant Ju (ZT Prospects National), and Jacoby Van Winkle (Prime 27:17). Early and Ju both clubbed three dingers in the championship round, but Reis' strong performance was enough to earn the title. Early and Ju both hit their homers to the pull side, sending shaggers deep into the grass.

Reis socked four blasts to left field and hit his deepest homer of the night to straightaway center field. The California native got the fans fired up at the National Training Complex, with Reis' San Diego Show teammates making more noise with each homer.

Prior to the championship round, the 16 players battled in a team competition. Ju carried Team Blue to a victory with a dramatic final 30 seconds, as the ZT Prospects National star cranked five homers to win it for his team. It was the highest scoring output of the team round.

There were impressive performances throughout the team round, with players supporting their teammates with every at-bat. Jacoby Van Winkle (Prime 27:17) had a ton of support from his teammates, who were sitting right behind home plate and reacting to every blast.

The 10U Futures Invitational returns to action on Saturday morning, with semifinal action set to begin at 10:45 am ET.

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FI Article

Coaches Balance Focus and Fun at 10U Futures Invitational

Having fun, showcasing talent, and playing for gold are all part of the gameplan at Futures
June 16, 2022
The coaches at the 2022 10U Futures Invitational have many things in mind. They brought their teams to Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina, aiming to finish the tournament with gold medals and a championship trophy. In an ideal world, their team would post a perfect record and head

The coaches at the 2022 10U Futures Invitational have many things in mind.

They brought their teams to Thomas Brooks Park in Cary, North Carolina, aiming to finish the tournament with gold medals and a championship trophy. In an ideal world, their team would post a perfect record and head home with gold medals around their neck.

But there is only one trophy and only one champion. Equally important to the wins are the experiences that the players have during their trip to Cary. Playing at the home of USA Baseball, showcasing skills in front of national team coaches and task force members, and travelling across the country with teammates is an experience that not many kids get to have, and their coaches are sure to recognize that.

“The biggest thing for me is that they just go out there and enjoy the experience as baseball players,” said Prime 27:17 head coach Jerrod Ryherd. “This is something that I’m jealous of because I didn’t get to do this as a kid. As a coach and a loving father who loves the game of baseball like these kids do, I want to give them this opportunity. The expectation is to win, but I also just want them to have a lot of fun.”

Having fun while also competing is a major key at the 10U Futures Invitational. The games are important, but making sure they’re being played in an exciting and upbeat environment helps to ensure the growth of the sport. Finding a way to have fun while also competing is something that’s been emphasized throughout the event.

“It’s a balance,” said WFBA Hammerheads head coach Misty Hiatt. “You have to put a little pressure on them so they can experience it, but in return they need to have some fun, too. I’ve seen kids at this age get pushed really hard and end up not having fun and they drop out of baseball because it’s been such a pressure cooker. College coaches are looking for kids who love baseball and that’s what we’re trying to instill there. We want the kids to love baseball.”

Coaches at the tournament are also focused on showcasing the talents of their players. One of the most attractive parts of the Futures Invitational is the fact that national team coaches and task force members are evaluating every pitch. Throughout all 16 games of Thursday’s opening round action, there were eyes on every play and every player.

Getting exposure to evaluators at a young age is a major reason why coaches bring their programs to Cary, and is one of the main focuses during the event.

“This is an opportunity for our players to be evaluated and to be seen by people outside of our program,” said San Diego Show head coach Hector Lorenzana. “It’s always a great thing to have different baseball eyes on our kids to learn the things they’re doing well and the things they need to improve on.”

That sentiment is echoed by Hiatt.

“I’m showcasing these kids,” he said. “I want the kids to be showcased. I am trying to get these kids seen. My message to my kids is ‘hustle on and off the field, run the balls out, play hard and maybe you can open up some eyes.’”

On top of the enjoyment of the experience and the focus on player evaluation, another thing on the mind of players and coaches is winning. This year’s tournament features 16 of the nation’s best teams, covering eight states. The reigning champion ZT Prospects National (TX) return for a shot at a second-straight title, and will have a strong field to compete with. Several teams had strong showings on the tournament’s opening day, including Knights Elite’s (AZ) 28-run output in two games and the San Diego Show’s plus-24 run differential across a pair of victories.

Competing in a tournament with such a large group of talent is what attracts the nation’s best. The Futures Invitational is consistently one of the most highly-anticipated events on the amateur baseball calendar, making it an easy decision to attend.

“It was a no-brainer at the beginning of the year that we were going to come here and play,” Hiatt said.. “We’re just trying to push our kids and give them these experiences so that when they do get older, they know how to respond to it."

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2022 10U Futures Invitational Field Reveal

March 21, 2022
The USA Baseball 10U Futures Invitational is an elite youth championship event exclusively reserved for the best 10U teams featuring the top youth talent in the nation. The tournament will be hosted at Thomas Brooks Park, at the home of the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina,

The USA Baseball 10U Futures Invitational is an elite youth championship event exclusively reserved for the best 10U teams featuring the top youth talent in the nation. The tournament will be hosted at Thomas Brooks Park, at the home of the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, as well as Middle Creek Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Stay tuned each day as we reveal the 16-team field for the 2022 10U Futures Invitational.

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2022 11U Futures Invitational Field Reveal

February 15, 2022
The USA Baseball 11U Futures Invitational is an elite youth championship event exclusively reserved for the best 11U teams featuring the top youth talent in the nation. The tournament will be hosted at Thomas Brooks Park, at the home of the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina,

The USA Baseball 11U Futures Invitational is an elite youth championship event exclusively reserved for the best 11U teams featuring the top youth talent in the nation. The tournament will be hosted at Thomas Brooks Park, at the home of the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, as well as Middle Creek Park in Cary, North Carolina.

Stay tuned each day as we reveal the 24-team field for the 2022 11U Futures Invitational.

2022 11U FUTURES INVITATIONAL TEAMS

One National: The program from Chandler, Arizona, returns to the 11U Futures Invitational after winning a pair of games at the event in 2021. Playing as Arizona National Baseball Academy, the program earned gold at the 2019 10U Futures Invitational.

Americans Baseball: The 2017 11U Futures champs are back for their sixth straight tournament in 2021. After making their Futures debut in 2016, the program followed with a gold medal in 2017 and a silver medal in 2018. The Top Tier Americans are based out of Irvine, California.

Dingers Athletics: The program returns to Cary for its 11U Futures Invitational debut after participating in the 10U event last summer. Dingers Athletics, which is based in Buford, Georgia, went 3-2 in the 2021 10U tournament.

New York Longhorns: The program will travel from Long Island, New York, to make its 11U Futures Invitational debut in the 2022.

San Diego Show: Since 2016, the San Diego Show have competed in every 11U Futures Invitational. The program owns a pair of bronze and silver medals in its history at the event, and is back in 2022 after picking up two wins last summer.

Vegas Gamers: Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, the Gamers will make their 11U Futures Invitational debut after participating at the 10U level in 2021.

Team Mizuno: After making their 11U Futures Invitational last summer, Team Mizuno is back in the field for 2022. The program hails from Chicago, Illinois.

Rawlings Prospects MD: The program, which is based out of Annapolis, Maryland, will make its 11U Futures Invitational debut in 2022.

Canes West Futures: The Irvine, California-based program will head back to Cary for the 2022 11U Futures Invitational after participating in last year's event. The program had two players compete at 11U Futures last year and earn spots on the 2021 12U National Team: Brodie Campbell and Caleb Hudson.

Rock Solid Taylor: After participating in the 2021 10U Futures Invitational, Rock Solid Taylor returns to Cary for the 11U event in 2022. The program had a strong offensive output in last year's 10U event, with scoring outputs of 12, 10, and 9 runs in three of their games.

Knights Elite: Traveling to Cary from San Tan Valley, Arizona, Knights Elite is making its 11U Futures Invitational debut in 2022.

IAM Baseball: After winning a pair of games at the 2021 11U Futures Invitational, IAM Baseball is back for this year's tournament. The program is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Carolina Cardinals: Making the short trip from Raleigh, North Carolina, the Carolina Cardinals will make their 11U Futures Invitational debut in 2022. The program participated in last year's 10U event, posting a 3-1 record.

Braves Baseball Academy: Hailing from Van Nuys, California, Braves Baseball Academy makes the trip to Cary after finishing second in the 2021 10U Futures Invitational. The 10U club went 4-1 in last year's event, falling to ZT Prospects in the gold medal game.

Bo Jackson Elite: After playing in last year's 10U Futures Invitational, Bo Jackson Elite will make its debut at the 11U event this summer. The program, based out of Hilliard, Ohio, went 3-1 at the 10U Futures Invitational a summer ago.

DreamChasers: The New York-based program returns to the Futures Invitational after finishing third in the 2021 event. The DreamChasers went 4-2 a year ago, topping the Lamorinda Titans (Calif.) in the bronze medal game. Julian Martinez, who played catcher for the 2021 12U National Team, was a member of the DreamChasers at the 2021 11U Futures Invitational.

Scottsdale Dirtbags: After posting a 3-2 record at last year's event, the Scottsdale Dirtbags are back in the mix for the 2022 11U Futures Invitational. The Arizona-based program scored 16 runs in its opening game against Team Mizuno in 2021.

GBG San Diego: Making the trip from the west coast, GBG San Diego will be a first-time participant at the 2022 11U Futures Invitational.

East Coast Sox: The program, which is based out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will make its 11U Futures Invitational debut in 2022.

Showcase Baseball Academy: The local program returns to the 11U Futures Invitational after posting a 3-2 record in 2021. Derek Vazquez, who batted .400 for the 2021 12U National Team, was a member of the Showcase Baseball Academy in last year's event. The program is based out of Matthews, North Carolina.

Next Level Prospects: Hailing from Pooler, Georgia, the program will will make its Futures Invitational debut in 2022.

KBC Cardinals: After earning bronze at the 2021 10U Futures Invitational, the KBC Cardinals are in the field for this year's 11U tournament. The Cardinals walked off on the San Diego SHOW to take third place in the 10U event last summer, capping a 4-1 performance. The program is based out of Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania.

Premier National: The 2021 11U Futures Invitational runners-up will make the trip to Cary from Tomball, Texas. The program went 5-1 in 2021, going unbeaten before falling to ZT Prospects National in the gold medal game. Easton Brunson, who hit three homers for the 2021 12U National Team last summer, was a member of Premier National at the 2021 11U Futures Invitational.

ZT Prospects National: After securing gold at the 2021 11U Futures Invitational, ZT Prospects National returns to Cary looking for its second straight title. Based out of Fullerton, California, the program went 5-1 in last year's event and beat Premier National, 5-2, in the gold medal game. Five members of the 2021 11U Futures Invitational-winning team earned spots on the 2021 12U National Team, including Hudson Brown, Aaron Garcia, Angel Gonzalez, Jackson Fetters, and Julian Rodriguez.

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Twenty-Four Athletes Invited to 12U Trials From 11U Futures Invitational

Selections feature five athletes from the 2021 11U champions, ZT Prospects
July 6, 2021
CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball announced today the 11U Futures Invitational participants that have been invited to the 2021 USA Baseball 12U National Team Trials. The list features 24 athletes that competed in the 2021 11U tournament in Cary, North Carolina, from June 24-27, including five from the ZT Prospects

CARY, N.C. – USA Baseball announced today the 11U Futures Invitational participants that have been invited to the 2021 USA Baseball 12U National Team Trials. The list features 24 athletes that competed in the 2021 11U tournament in Cary, North Carolina, from June 24-27, including five from the ZT Prospects team that won gold at the event.

The 2021 11U Futures Invitational, which is an elite youth championship tournament that serves as a primary identification event for the 12U National Team, featured the largest pool of talent in the event’s history this summer with an expanded field of 24 teams battling for gold. Each of the more than 300 participants at this year’s event was evaluated by the USA Baseball Task Force and the 2021 12U National Team staff throughout the tournament.

Twelve of the identification event’s 24 teams are represented in the Trials selections and six teams boast multiple invitees, with ZT Prospects’ five athletes leading the way. Canes West Futures followed close behind with three players on the list, while I AM National, SBA Futures, Dream Chasers, and MVP Hustle Ruiz all boast two selections.

The Premier Nationals earned the 2021 11U Futures Invitational silver medal after falling to ZT Prospects, 5-2, in the championship game, while the Dream Chasers took down the Lamorinda Titans, 7-3, to claim the bronze medal at the event.

More information on the 2021 12U National Team Trials schedule, as well as further identification opportunities, will be announced at a later date. For more information on the 12U National Team, follow @USABaseball12U on Twitter.

    • 2021 11U Futures Invitational Selections to 12U National Team Trials
    • (Name; Position; Hometown; Team)
    • Konnor Briggs; LHP/INF; Oxford, Fla.; I AM National
    • Hudson Brown; INF/LHP; Iola, Texas; ZT Prospects
    • Brodie Campbell; INF/RHP; Newnan, Ga.; Canes West Futures
    • Chase Cotton; RHP/OF; Lincoln, Calif.; Lamorinda Titans
    • Landen DeRouen; INF/RHP; Delcambre, La.; Scottsdale Dirtbags
    • Adan Diaz; INF/RHP; Gavilan Hills, Calif.; Canes West Futures
    • Jackson Fetters; RHP/INF; Montgomery, Texas; ZT Prospects
    • Aaron Garcia; C/RHP; Pico Rivera, Calif.; ZT Prospects
    • Angel Gonzalez; OF/LHP; Whittier, Calif.; ZT Prospects
    • Jared Grindlinger; OF/LHP; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Stars Baseball
    • Caleb Hudson; OF; Carrollton, Ga.; Canes West Futures
    • Levi Kerr; INF; Holly Springs, N.C.; SBA Futures
    • Brayden Landry; INF/RHP; Puyallup, Wash.; New Level Nationals
    • Julian Martinez; C/RHP; New York, N.Y.; Dream Chasers
    • Duncan McLeod; LHP; Huntington Beach, Calif.; Canes West Futures
    • Carter Moon; OF/RHP; Bogart, Ga.; TG Dbacks
    • Roberto Negron; LHP; Land O Lakes, Fla.; I AM National
    • Julian Rodriguez; C/RHP; Boca Raton, Fla.; ZT Prospects
    • Colt Sampson; OF; Magnolia, Texas; Premier Nationals
    • Jael Santos; INF/RHP; Paterson, N.J.; Dream Chasers
    • Derek Vazquez; INF/RHP; Charlotte, N.C.; SBA Futures
    • Issac Vidal; INF/RHP; Miami, Fla.; Stars Baseball
    • Adrian Villela; RHP; Tuscon, Ariz.; MVP Hustle Ruiz
    • Jake Welch; INF; Draper, Utah; MVP Hustle Ruiz
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ZT Prospects National Wins Gold at 11U Futures Invitational

Team finishes week 5-1, while Dream Chasers win bronze medal
June 27, 2021
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E ZT Prospects National 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 5 11 2 Premier Nationals 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 0 Win: Hudson Brown Loss: Tristin Gaines Box Score | Play-by-Play CARY, N.C. - ZT Prospects National claimed the
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
ZT Prospects National 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 5 11 2
Premier Nationals 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 3 0
Win: Hudson Brown Loss: Tristin Gaines
Box Score | Play-by-Play

CARY, N.C. - ZT Prospects National claimed the 2021 11U Futures Invitational championship on Sunday with a 5-2 win over the Premier Nationals, while the Dream Chasers earned the bronze medal with a 7-3 victory over the Lamorinda Titans. ZT Prospects National finished the week 5-1 and outscored its opponents 57-10 en route to the gold medal, allowing three runs or less in each of its games. 

ZT Prospects National got the scoring started early when the team plated runs in each of the first three innings and added two in the sixth for a 5-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Premier Nationals were unable to get anything going at the plate as Hudson Brown was dealing for ZT Prospects National. He finished the game allowing just two hits and one earned run while striking out six.

The Premier Nationals were able to muster up their first run of the game in the sixth before adding another run in the seventh to get within three and make it a 5-2 game.

From there, ZT Prospects National reliever Blake Barbenera was able to shut things down from the mound, striking out two batters to secure the gold medal win for his team.

Brown earned the victory for ZT Prospects National while Tristin Gaines was credited with the loss for the Premier Nationals.

Key Moments

  • Aaron Garcia sent the second pitch of the game into left for a leadoff double. After moving over to third on a bunt single from Angel Gonzalez, Garcia came in to score the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Lennex Minor to give ZT Prospects National a 1-0 lead.
  • ZT Prospects National got runs in the second and third innings on RBIS from Jackson Fetters and Julian Rodriguez to make it 3-0.
  • Hudson Brown and Zion Avina knocked in runs in the sixth to push the ZT Prospects National lead to 5-0.
  • Caleb Cardenas scored the Premier Nationals first run of the game in the sixth inning on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.
  • Easton Brunson hit a double, stole third, and came in on an RBI groundout by Lucas Smith to make it 5-2 in the sixth.
  • Hudson Brown picked up his sixth strikeout of the game for ZT Prospects National before getting a groundout to strand runners on second and third.
  • After allowing one run, Blake Barbenera struck out two batters to end the game for ZT Prospects National.

Notable Information

  • Angel Gonzalez finished the week with a team-high 12 hits on the week with eight RBIs and six runs for ZT Prospects National
  • Lennex Minor and Aaron Garcia each had double-digit hits on the week en route to the gold medal
  • Seven ZT Prospects National hitters with more than 12 at bats finished the week with batting averages over .400
  • The team's gold medal win marked the second-straight Futures Invitational win for the organization after the 10U ZT Prospects National won last week's 10U tournament

What They're Saying

  • "Hudson had a great performance. Everything we expect out of him. He went out there and played with his heart and the team contributed. I'm so happy for them." – ZT Prospects National coach Carlos Avila on Hudson Brown's performance 
  • "It feels amazing. Coming all the way out here from Texas. To win, it feels worth it." – ZT Prospects National pitcher Hudson Brown on winning the gold medal.
  • "It feels special. I'm so thankful, especially because I love the USA. To be able to earn this is a blessing and I'm super happy." ZT Prospects National coach Carlos Avila on his team's win.

 Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABEvents on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the Futures Invitational. 
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