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Briese Breakdown: The Intangibles
Representing Team USA is more than being a good baseball player – it is about being an even better person.
This week at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, Task Force members aren’t simply scouting the National Team Championships North Carolina for high velocity or the longest home runs; they are evaluating the kind of teammate these ballplayers are for the ones around them. 2022 15U National Team Manager Drew Briese and the rest of the determined group of scouts are watching every minute detail, even when the ball isn’t coming your way.
“We are absolutely watching what’s going on when the ball is not around you,” Briese said. “That can be between the lines. We’re watching whether you are backing up a base or communicating with the people around you. It can also be outside the lines, like what are you like when you’re in the dugout. We go down and we sit in the dugouts. We listen to the way guys talk and the energy they bring to their team. We’re evaluating all aspects of their game and their personality. That’s really important to us that not only are we finding the most talented players, but guys who are going to fit the mission of what we are trying to do here - which is go win a gold medal.”
The mission is of the utmost importance to Briese. The opportunity to don the red, white, and blue is a special opportunity and carries more weight than many these young men have experienced before. While a gold medal is the ultimate goal, having a group of players eager to compete and play for the love of baseball is what he truly wants to see.
“I really want guys who understand the mission and what this is all about, and the value playing for Team USA,” the skipper said. “They play so much baseball every weekend throughout the summer, you start to see it in the way that they play and sometimes in the way that they carry themselves. What’s going to be a really important thing for our staff to identify in the training camp setting is how competitive are they. How much do they really love to play the game? When they’re at the end of their summer and we are in our seventh game of the World Cup matched up against Cuba, how much energy are they going to have?”
To accomplish the mission and achieve the gold medal standard Briese has in place for the 15U National Team, there will have to be adjustments and sacrifices. Players will be put in an environment they are not typically used to and how they react to adversity will be a true test. This will call for these individuals to be selfless.
“This is about giving yourself over to the mission,” Briese said. “We’re going to have guys that are hitting first, second, and third on every lineup they’ve ever been in their whole life. Some of them are going to be asked to take a reserve role. Some of them have been starting pitchers their entire career and will be asked to be relievers. They’re going to be asked to carry ball bags and push themselves physically beyond the limits they’ve gone before. They’re going to have to push themselves well beyond where they have been before.”
If there is any time to push yourself to the limit, the time is now, when an invite to National Team Training Camp or a final roster spot is on the line. Briese and the staff will be prepared to spread the message of how monumental this is to have an entire nation behind you, cheering you on.
“It’s important to talk about it means to represent your country,” Briese said. “What does that mean to stand and hear the anthem playing on a baseball field? We’ll talk a lot about that. This is an opportunity well beyond anything they’ve done before, in terms of representing a team or their school. Now, they’re representing an entire nation.”
When Briese leads the 2022 15U National Team in the coming months, expect a respectful, hardworking squad excited to prove Team USA is the best and prepared to bring gold back for their country.
15U National Team Championships NC All-Tournament Team Announced
CARY, N.C. – The 15U National Team Championships North Carolina All-Tournament team was announced today and features 22 athletes that competed in the event. The list is made up of 13 hitters and nine pitchers and features a player from 11 of the tournament’s 20 teams, including a tournament-high five from the gold medal-winning Alpha Prime.
Chase Bentley – Alpha Prime
Chase Bentley led Alpha Prime to the semifinal with six shutout innings against Artillery Baseball and finished the tournament with 11 strikeouts and a 1.56 ERA.
Alec Blair – Alpha Prime
Alec Blair’s three triples topped the tournament while hitting .474 (9-for-19) with eight RBIs for Alpha Prime.
Masa Chilcutt – East Cobb Astros
Masa Chilcutt hit .400 (6-for-15) and collected three doubles with a 1.126 OPS for East Cobb Astros.
Stephen Chucka – Scorpions Scout Team
Stephen Chucka recorded the highest OPS in the tournament with 1.799 and collected a team-best 11 hits for bronze medalist Scorpions Scout Team.
Andrew Clapinski – Knights Knation
Andrew Clapinski dealt 6.1 scoreless innings and struck out seven in the Knights Knation’s win against Dirtbags.
Justice De Jong – ZT Prospects National
Justice De Jong pitched 6.2 scoreless innings and struck out eight limiting USA Prime National to one hit in the win for ZT Prospects National.
Landon Gordon – MVP Hustle
Landon Gordon finished the tournament with a 1.44 ERA and 11 strikeouts for MVP Hustle.
Angel Laya – Alpha Prime
Angel Laya had a tournament-best 12 hits, including five for extra-bases with a .600 batting average for gold medal-winning Alpha Prime.
Caden Marcos – East Cobb Astros
Caden Marcos stole seven bases to lead the tournament and notched a team-best eight hits for East Cobb Astros.
Justin Michaelis – Texas Twelve
Justin Michaelis drove in a team-best nine runs for silver medalist Texas Twelve ending with a 1.214 OPS.
Ryan Mitchell – Wow Factor National
Ryan Mitchell slashed .467/.571/.600 with seven hits for Wow Factor National.
Anthony Murphy – MVP Hustle
Anthony Murphy didn’t allow a single run in 8.1 innings pitched for MVP Hustle and led the team with 12 strikeouts.
Gavin Nix – Knights Knation
Gavin Nix had the most hits for Knights Knation and batted .467 (7-for-15).
Sebastian Norman – Wow Factor National
Sebastian Norman recorded a team-high four doubles, six RBIs, and eight hits for Wow Factor National.
David Shields – Canes National
David Shields tossed 6.1 scoreless innings and struck out seven while limiting MVP Hustle to one hit in relief for Canes National.
Miles Shore – East Cobb Astros
Miles Shore of the East Cobb Astros finished the tournament with a team-best 1.207 OPS and three of his six hits were for doubles.
Gavin Stedman – Scorpions Scout Team
Gavin Stedman drove in a tournament-best 11 runs and scored a tournament-best 10 runs to help lead Scorpions Scout Team.
Joseph Vaccarella – USA Prime National
Joseph Vaccarella delivered a complete game shutout in USA Prime National’s win against MVP Hustle limiting their offense to two hits and striking out six.
Drew Van Court – Alpha Prime
Drew Van Court pitching the most innings (10) and recorded the most strikeouts (15) in the tournament while picking up the win in the gold medal match for Alpha Prime.
Tyler Wick – Alpha Prime
Tyler Wick recorded nine hits, including three doubles, while slashing .391/.400/.522 for Alpha Prime.
Hagen Wright – Artillery Baseball
Hagen Wright batted .389 (7-for-18) and sent a three-run homer in Artillery Baseball’s win against TBT Ballers National.
Alpha Prime Fends off Texas Twelve for 15U National Team Championships North Carolina Gold
CARY, N.C. – After allowing two runs in the first, Alpha Prime responded with three of their own in the bottom half and never looked back to defeat Texas Twelve 7-4 for the 15U National Team Championships gold medal at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Texas Twelve came out hot in the top of the first as Blaine Bullard walked and Lucas Tinajero singled to put two runners on for Justin Michaelis. Michaelis sent a single up the middle for two runs-batted-in and gave Texas Twelve the 2-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long as Alpha Prime answered with three runs in the bottom half. Tyler Wick doubled to put a runner in scoring position for Maverek Russell who put his team on the board with an RBI single. Russell tied the game on a wild pitch and Alonzo Alvarez sent an RBI triple deep into right center field for the 3-2 lead.
Alpha Prime wasn’t settled with the one-run lead, adding two more in the second. With bases loaded, Aiden Aguayo took a pitch to left field for a sacrifice fly and Brock Sell scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 lead.
After allowing two runs in the first, Drew Van Court settled down and comfortably went to work. Van Court followed with four scoreless innings before being pulled in the top of the sixth for Brennan Johnson.
Texas Twelve showed some life in the top of the sixth loading the bases with no outs. Johnson picked up two outs before being relieved by Sell, but Texas Twelve scratched only one across on a wild pitch which allowed Carter Guillory to score.
Alpha Prime once again responded with a run of their own as Aguayo picked up his second RBI on a single to center field. Cooper Fulbright attempted a last-minute Texas Twelve rally leading off the seventh with a double to left field and scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 7-4.
Sell delivered the final out for Alpha Prime inducing a ground ball to third base for the 15U National Team Championships gold medal victory.
Van Court scattered just four hits and two walks with three runs allowed and eight strikeouts for the win. Sell picked up the save in 1.1 innings of work. Mason Murphy was handed the loss allowing five runs in one inning pitched.
Angel Laya, Russell, and Sell each contributed multi-hit efforts in the win. While Aguayo and Alvarez both notched two RBIs.
How it happened
- Justin Michaelis quickly put two runs on the board for Texas Twelve with a two RBI single up the middle in the top of the first.
- Maverek Russell tacked on the first run for Alpha Prime sending an RBI single into right field in the bottom half of the first.
- Angel Laya singled and Maverek Russell scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2, Alonzo Alvarez crushed an RBI triple in the right center gap to take the 3-2 lead.
- With the bases loaded, Aiden Aguayo pushed the score to 4-2 by sending a fly ball to left field for the sacrifice fly and the runners moved up to second and third, as well.
- Brock Sell then came into score on the wild pitch increasing the lead to 5-2 for Alpha Prime.
- Alonzo Alvarez added a run for Alpha Prime to go up 6-2 on a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the fifth.
- Carter Guillory scored on a wild pitch to bring it to 6-3 for Texas Twelve after reaching on a single to lead off the top of the sixth.
- Aiden Aguayo increased the score to 7-3 via an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
- Cooper Fulbright led the top of the seventh off with a double for Texas Twelve and scored on a wild pitch making it 7-4.
- Alpha Prime collected 11 hits in the win and finished the tournament as a team slashing .368/.451/.544.
- Angel Laya hit .600 (12-for-20) in the tournament with five extra-base hits.
- Alec Blair led Alpha Prime with eight RBIs and a 1.053 slugging percentage.
- Drew Van Court finished with a 2.10 earned run average and 15 strikeouts across 10 innings.
- Lucas Franco concluded the tournament for Texas Twelve with a team-best 1.234 OPS.
15U National Team Championships North Carolina Semifinals Locked In
CARY, N.C. – The 15U National Team Championships North Carolina set the stage for the semifinals as Alpha Prime, MVP Hustle, Scorpions Scout Team, and Texas Twelve won their quarterfinal matchups on Friday morning at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Scorpions Scout Team 5, TBT Ballers National 4
Despite falling behind 2-0 early on, Scorpions Scout Team fired up the bats in the third inning and held onto win the quarterfinal matchup with TBT Ballers National 5-4.
TBT Ballers National attempted to tie the game tagging up on a fly out to right field, but Brandon Reiter hosed the runner at home to end the game.
Brandon Reiter earned the win in relief for Scorpions tossing four innings and scattering four hits across two runs. Gavin Stedman received the save closing it out with one inning and a strikeout. Sam Michel took the loss for TBT Ballers National.
Stephen Chucka paced the Scorpions offensively with a 3-for-3 game driving in one run and delivering a double. Luke Beeler led Scorpions with two runs-batted-in. Emery Coleman had the only multi-hit performance and extra-base hit for TBT Ballers National.
How it happened:
- Jadyn Nunez led the game off with a walk and came around to score as Cameron Uzzillia drove him in on an RBI single for the TBT 1-0 advantage.
- Back-to-back singles by RJ Machado and Emery Coleman put runners on first and third for an RBI fielder’s choice by Connor Berman in the second.
- Scorpions brought the score to 2-1 thanks to an RBI single by Max Murray in the second inning.
- Gavin Stedman ripped an RBI double to tie it up at 2-2 in the third.
- Luke Beeler took the 4-2 lead for Scorpions sending a ground-rule double deep for two runs in the third.
- Stephen Chucka added one more in the third via an RBI single to make it 5-2.
- Connor Berman collected his second RBI in the fifth with an RBI single moving the score to 5-3.
- Dayson Griffis brought TBT Ballers within one run sending a single to score Berman to cut the deficit to 5-4.
- Brandon Reiter gunned down a TBT Ballers base runner trying to score completing a double play finishing the win for Scorpions Scout Team.
Texas Twelve 4, USA Prime National 1
Dane Perry unleashed on a 3-1 pitch sending it deep over the left field fence for a three RBI tank to help send Texas Twelve to the semifinal in the 4-1 win over USA Prime National.
Cooper Fulbright showed up to the National Training Complex prepared to deal. Fulbright delivered five scoreless innings while allowing two hits and striking out six. Lucas Franco closed the game out for the save picking up the final two outs. Cooper Moss was handed the loss with four runs allowed in four innings while striking out six.
Lucas Tinajero was the only hitter on either side to notch a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 and two runs scored for Texas Twelve.
How it happened:
- Justin Michaelis delivered an RBI single in the first inning for Texas Twelve for the 1-0 lead.
- Dane Perry sent a three-run blast to left field pushing the lead to 4-0 in the third.
- Reid Jacobson attempted to rally USA Prime back with an RBI single in the seventh with two outs bring the game closer, down 4-1.
MVP Hustle 5, Canes National 2
MVP Hustle did damage in the first inning putting up five runs for the lead and held onto to top Canes National 5-2 in the quarterfinal.
Landon Gordon started his second game of the 15U National Team Championships North Carolina and picked up his second win of the tournament. With a semifinal spot on the line, Gordon threw 5.2 innings and scattered six hits across two runs while striking out six. Miles Scott was efficient in relief to earn the save tossing 1.1 innings with two strikeouts. Blake Illitch suffered the loss.
Four different hitters for MVP Hustle registered an RBI, while Noah Franco went 2-for-2 for Canes National.
How it happened:
- Dylan Wetzel laced an RBI single in the first inning and Paul Dominguez ripped an RBI double with Lucas Owens scoring on the error on the play making it 3-0.
- Hamilton Friedberg and Miles Scott drew RBI walks, respectively, in the first to make it 5-0 MVP Hustle.
- Noah Franco added a run for Canes with an RBI single to make it 5-1 in the first.
- Coy James brought the deficit to three for Canes producing an RBI single in the sixth.
Alpha Prime 7, Artillery Baseball 0
Alpha Prime blanked Artillery Baseball 7-0 on the back of Chase Bentley to head to the semifinals.
Bentley started for Alpha Prime shoving six shut-out innings with eight strikeouts and only two hits. Ryan Walsh allowed three runs in three innings for the loss.
Alonzo Alvarez and Tyler Wick both went 2-for-4 to lead Alpha Prime in the hit column. Wick and Maverek Russell contributed two RBIs to help their team offensively.
How it happened:
- Alpha Prime scored their first run on a sacrifice fly by Troy Ueltzen in the second inning.
- Tyler Wick slapped an RBI double in the third and Alec Blair brought Wick home on the RBI triple to finish the inning up 3-0.
- Tyler Wick collected his second RBI in the seventh to make it 4-0 on the RBI single.
- Maverek Russell added on two more runs in the seventh for the 6-0 with the two RBI double.
- Alonzo Alvarez capped the inning off with the RBI single to increase the lead to 7-0.
- Both semifinal matchups will start at 8:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, as Scorpions Scout Team squares up with Alpha Prime while MVP Hustle takes on Texas Twelve. Both games are available to stream on YouTube and live stats are available on GameChanger.
Briese Breakdown: The Pitching Staff
CARY, N.C. - Pitching can make or a break a baseball team, especially in international competition. Team USA has historically assembled tremendous pitching staffs for competition at every age group, and 2022 15U National Team Manager Drew Briese hopes to continue this strong presence at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup in Mexico.
Simply put – pitching wins ball games. To return home with a gold medal, Briese will need the best pitching possible.
“The pitching staff is the backbone of any team. It’s the one thing you can show up with every day and really count on. In any tournament play, you’re probably going to run into a day where the bats go cold. If you show up pitching, you’re going to give your offense a little bit of leeway.”
What exactly is Briese looking for at the 15U National Team Championships North Carolina when it comes to pitchers? There are plenty of qualities for him to assess when scouting the athletes on the bump this week.
“When we’re evaluating pitchers for the national team there are a lot of factors at play. Stuff, velocity, spin, command. Then you get into the ability to control the running game, field your position, and intangibles. How competitive they might be, what kind of teammate they are, and what’s their reaction when adverse situations hit. There is a mixture of a lot of different variables.”
One of the most strategic aspects involved with the pitching at the 15U level is the ability to utilize two-way players. Due to roster limitations, it is crucial to have a roster full of flexibility. A prime example of this was Justin Campbell, a two-way player on the 2016 15U National Team. The now Oklahoma State ace set to be a high draft pick in the 2022 MLB Draft was named to the WBSC U-15 World Cup All-World Team as a first baseman. Athletes available on the 2022 roster to provide this level of versatility will heavily impact the pitching staff.
“At the 15U age, some guys are playing in the field and then relieving because they’re some of the better athletes on their teams. The dual position players really help lengthen out the pitching staff. When you’re at a 20-man roster, your pitching can get thin pretty quickly if you’re carrying pitcher-only (PO) players. We’ll carry a certain number of PO’s and bring over multiple dual guys who can give us innings in a short start or out of the bullpen.”
When Briese and the squad travel to Mexico, they will experience an atmosphere unlike any other. For the pitchers, their composure and focus will need to be at an all-time high when taking the mound. International play can be as rowdy as ever.
“Pitching in the international level stage is way different than what they will be used to here at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. It’s a very sanitary environment. It’s clean. They’re very familiar with their surroundings. Internationally, the PA can be talking right on top of the at-bat. People have drums, banging pots and pans in the stands. It can be a really different environment in a lot of different ways. We definitely talk about that during the training camp process. This way they won’t be surprised by any of it.”
To prepare his young arms, Briese and pitching coach Rob Shabansky will implement methods to prepare their guys for the big moment. Practices might get a little crazy when preparation starts for Mexico.
“We’ve piped in international crowd music during training camp games, or we’ll simulate the international tiebreaker with loud, loud crowd noise. Just to give them a feel of something that’s a little bit different.”
When a gold medal is on the line, it’s necessary to pull out all the stops. Briese will have these boys ready.
Briese Breakdown: 15U National Team Position Players
CARY, N.C. - 2022 15U National Team Manager Drew Briese has an idea in mind when he’s evaluating talent at the 15U National Team Championships North Carolina. It is pretty simple - find the best players.
Luckily for Briese, he has come to the right place: the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
First thing first, evaluating position players. Overall, Briese is searching for guys who can impact the game in a plethora of ways.
“We’re looking for dynamic players who can defend the field and cover ground, but also offer offensive potency,” Briese said. “Guys that can either hit at the top of the lineup and provide the ability to get on base and steal bags or guys that can drive the baseball and have the opportunity to hit in the middle of the order.”
Although 2022 will be his Team USA managerial debut, this isn’t Briese’s first rodeo with the stars and stripes. He has seen plenty of exceptional talent working as an evaluator for Team USA since 2013 and helped lead the red, white, and blue to a bronze medal at the 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup.
On that 15U National Team in 2016, one of the top prospects in the 2022 MLB Draft roamed center field: Louisiana State’s Cade Doughty. Doughty has plenty of the characteristics Briese is hoping to find in his “captain” of the outfield.
“When you’re looking at a center fielder, he’s probably going to be one of the one or two best athletes on the team,” he said. “Cade was a little bit of a different situation. He was a guy who could play some infield and some outfield, which speaks to his athleticism and probably a reason he will be a top draft pick this year. This year we’re absolutely evaluating athleticism probably above everything else. We’re looking for the guys that can really run and can cover ground, which is probably valued over arm strength. The ability to defend the field has to be at the top of the list.
As Briese noted, positional versatility can demonstrate quality athleticism in a player. Another member of the 2016 15U National Team, Carter Young, primarily played catcher for Team USA, despite having the ability to play at third and shortstop. This flexibility between positions can pay dividends during international competition.
“When you’re working with a 20-person roster in international play, the more flexibility the better,” he said. “If we have guys who can play infield and outfield or have the ability to play a position and pitch, it really helps to provide depth to a roster when you are limited to those 20 spots.”
Young showcased how crucial it is to have a solid presence behind the dish in 2016 for Briese, as he led the team with 12 runs-batted-in and handled a staff filled with now college arms. These qualities are necessary behind the dish for Team USA.
“Catcher is a position where you have to be able to defend the field,” Briese said. “One of the biggest question marks for the players at this age is: can they handle the elite level stuff they’re going to see from a top tier pitching staff? Whether it’s velocity or spin, the ability to receive, block, command the baseball is really important. What they do offensively is icing on the cake.”
While keeping all of these qualities in mind, Briese knows the 2022 team is going to be unique. The best group of young men selected will be able to adjust and fit the mold the staff is hoping to accomplish.
“One of the things I’ve been able to see over the years with national teams is that they each have their own personality,” the skipper said. “There are certain years where you might look at the corner infielders and see some really big, strong, talented guys, and it’s the same in the corner outfield. You end up with a team that is more power centered. There have been other national teams that have been more athletic – smaller, runners, less power. Each national team takes on its own vibe.”
The 2022 15U National Team is in good hands this year with Briese and it’ll be exciting to see the names taking the field for the red, white, and blue come August.
14U National Team Championships North Carolina All-Tournament Team Named
CARY, N.C. – The 14U National Team Championships North Carolina All-Tournament team was announced today and features 16 athletes that competed in the event. The list is made up of eight hitters and eight pitchers and features a player from nine of the tournament’s 16 teams, including three from the gold medal-winning Canes National.
Aiden Arnett – Burn Atlantic Navy
Aiden Arnett hit .600 (6-for-10) for the silver medalist Burn Atlantic Navy, drawing eight walks and driving in five runs.
Carson Bolemon – Canes National
Carson Bolemon batted .462 (6-for-13) in the tournament, scoring three runs and driving in a pair for the tournament champs.
Jeffrey Claycomb – Dulins Dodgers Prime
Jeffrey Claycomb reached base at a .500 clip in the tournament and batted .429 (6-for-14), adding a double and five RBIs for Dulins Dodgers Prime.
Andrew Costello – Canes National
Andrew Costello had a 1.452 OPS in the tournament for the champs, batting .467 (7-for-15) with a triple and a homer.
Hamilton Friedberg – Alpha Prime
Hamilton Friedberg finished the tournament with a 1.767 OPS and three extra-base hits, including two triples for Alpha Prime.
Alex Harrington – Canes National
Alex Harrington had nine hits, nine runs scored, and nine stolen bases for the gold-medal winners, posting a .474 (9-for-19) throughout the tournament.
Brayden Harris – Burn Atlantic Navy
Brayden Harris was lights-out on the mound in two appearances, striking out a tournament-best 13 batters over 10 innings pitched for Burn Atlantic Navy.
Archer Horn – Alpha Prime
Archer Horn posted a 2.80 ERA for Alpha Prime, allowing two earned runs over five innings while punching out a team-high nine batters.
Matthew McClenan – East Coast Sox Scout
Matthew McClenan led East Coast Sox Scout with a .600 batting average (6-for-10), including two doubles.
Andrew Saccento – Artillery Baseball
Andrew Saccento turned in five hitless innings for Artillery Baseball, striking out 11 batters against Elite Squad.
CJ Sampson – Texas Twelve
CJ Sampson tossed five innings and allowed just one run over two appearances for Texas Twelve, posting a 1.40 ERA with nine strikeouts.
Paxton Seal – 5 Star National
Paxton Seal delivered five scoreless innings, surrendering just five hits and striking out nine batters in a win for 5 Star National against the Dirtbags.
Troy Southisene – USA Prime National
Troy Southisene notched a .467 (7-for-15) average to go along with seven RBIs at the plate, also scoring twice for USA Prime National.
Shawn Sullivan – Dulins Dodgers Prime
Shawn Sullivan made two appearances on the mound for Dulins Dodgers Prime and allowed just one run to post a 1.11 ERA with eight strikeouts.
Hunter Watson – USA Prime National
Hunter Watson gave up just one hit and had a 3.50 ERA over four innings with eight strikeouts for USA Prime National.
Jaxson Wood – East Coast Sox Scout
Jaxson Wood posted a .533 (8-for-15) average with two doubles for East Coast Sox Scout in the tournament.
Nine-Run Second Inning Boosts Canes National in 14U National Team Championships North Carolina Finale
CARY, N.C. – Canes National utilized a nine-run second inning en route to its gold medal victory over the Burn Atlantic Navy 13-3 (4).
The two teams went scoreless in the first inning before Canes National jumped out to a commanding 9-0 lead in the second. Canes collected five walks, three singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a sacrifice fly along with taking advantage of multiple wild pitches to gather the nine runs.
Canes National tacked on four more runs in the top of the third, as Alex Harrington started the scoring with an RBI single to right field for his second run batted in of the contest. The team then capitalized on defensive miscues from Burn Atlantic Navy to tack on the other three runs of the frame.
Burn Atlantic Navy showed some fight in the bottom of third as Aiden Arnett collected the lone extra-base hit of the game via an RBI double to right field. Luke Labbe drew a bases-loaded walk and Chandler Dantzler gave a third run for his squad by sending a sacrifice fly to right field.
Colton Haire started on the mound for Canes, as he tossed three innings and scattered five hits across three runs with four strikeouts for the win. Gary Gibson entered in the fourth inning and only needed eight pitches to secure the final three outs. Tyler Ellis suffered the loss by allowing six runs in one inning pitched.
How It Happened
- Brady Murrietta and Colton Haire led the top of the second inning with walks, respectively. Carson Bolemon laced a single into left field to bring Murrietta home for a 1-0 Canes lead.
- Canes National would go on to score nine runs in the second with five walks worked and a hit-by-pitch along with advantageous base running on a passed ball and wild pitch. Colton Haire capped the scoring off with a sacrifice fly to right field.
- Alex Harrington ripped an RBI single into right field, improving the Canes’ score to 10-0 in the top of the third.
- Canes National added one run on a dropped third strike pass ball and two more on an error at first base in the third, enhancing the lead to 13-0.
- Aiden Arnett drove a double out of reach of the right fielder with runners at first and second to score Burn Atlantic Navy’s first run of the game in the bottom of the third.
- Luke Labbe worked a walk with the bases juiced for Burn Atlantic Navy making it 13-2, and Chandler Dantzler added a sacrifice fly which brought the score to 13-3.
- The gold medal is the Canes’ first gold medal at the National Team Championships North Carolina in program history.
- Canes National completed their gold medal run with a tournament-best three home runs.
- Alex Harrington led Canes National with nine hits (9-for-19) and nine runs scored.
- Carson Quillen finished the tournament slashing .583/.700/.923 (7-for-13) with six walks.
14U National Team Championships North Carolina Quarterfinals Complete
CARY, N.C. – On a dreary, rainy Sunday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, Artillery Baseball, Burn Atlantic Navy, Canes National, and Dulins Dodgers Prime overcame the wet conditions to win their quarterfinal matchups and head to the semifinals of the 14U National Team Championships North Carolina.
Burn Atlantic Navy 2, USA Prime National 0
Burn Atlantic Navy scored two runs in the third inning and that was all it needed to secure its spot in the semifinal.
Brayden Harris executed a tremendous complete-game shutout allowing only three hits and striking out nine batters. Hunter Watson was dealt the loss allowing two runs in four innings with eight strikeouts.
Harris provided his own run support on the only hit for Burn Atlantic Navy, pushing across the go-ahead runs for his squad.
- Burn Atlantic Navy loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with two walks and a hit by pitch, respectively.
- Brayden Harris provided the only runs of the game in the third with a two RBI single for a 2-0 lead for Burn Atlantic Navy.
- Burn Atlantic Navy turned a 6-4-3 ground ball double play to end the game and earn the win.
Artillery Baseball 11, 5 Star National 5
Artillery Baseball had eight batters contribute at-least one hit in the 11-5 win over 5 Star National to head to the semifinals.
Matthew Riendeau got the win in relief going 3.2 innings allowing one run on one hit and striking out one. Jason Amalbert picked up where Riendeau left off tossing three innings and scattering one hit and one unearned run with two strikeouts.
Michael Hanna, Aiden Funk, and Matthew Tafuri all had multi-hit performances in the win.
- Jason Amalbert led off the game with a triple and Michael Hanna gave Artillery a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout.
- 5 Star used three consecutive walks to start the bottom of the first and load the bases for an RBI fielder’s choice by Griffin Miller to tie the game 1-1.
- 5 Star quickly took the lead scoring on an error and stretched the lead to 3-1 on a wild pitch in the first.
- Jason Amalbert scored his second run of the game on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth to narrow the deficit to 3-2.
- Artillery struck for three more in the fifth to take the lead highlighted by an RBI double by Matthew Tafuri to make it 5-3.
- Randy Ruiz brought 5 Star within one run of Artillery, 5-4, with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth.
- Artillery Baseball scored six runs in the sixth inning to go ahead 11-4 as Andrew Saccento, Aiden Funk, and Noah Danza each notched an RBI single.
Canes National 9, East Coast Sox Scout 5
Canes National used two round trippers to fuel its offense to a 9-5 quarterfinal victory over East Coast Sox Scout.
Gabriel Milano sent the first dinger into right field for a grand slam in the fourth inning and Alex Harrington followed with a blast of his own, a two-run jack to left field, in the fifth.
Ty Tillery got the start for Canes National pitching 4.2 innings allowing five runs on nine hits with one strikeout. Karter Bossman shut the door on East Coast’s offense in 2.1 innings of relief by yielding one hit and striking out two.
- Andrew Costello provided the first lead for Canes National, 1-0, with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.
- Colton Haire stretched the advantage to 3-0 in the first driving a two-RBI double.
- Clayton Rice got East Coast Sox on the board via an RBI single in the top of the third.
- Dominic Pellegrin shortened the deficit for East Coast Sox to 3-2 by driving an RBI double to right field.
- Andrew Petrock drove in the third and fourth runs of the third inning for East Coast thanks to a two-run double for the 4-3 lead.
- Gabriel Milano unleashed a grand slam to right field in the bottom of the fourth, taking the lead back 7-4 for Canes National.
- Alex Harrington sent another long ball deep for Canes National in the fifth inning, as his two-run homer to left field enhanced the lead to 9-5.
Dulins Dodgers 7, Texas Twelve 0
Shawn Sullivan and Jeffrey Claycomb combined for a shutout pitching performance to blank the Texas Twelve offense for the Dulins Dodgers 7-0 quarterfinal win.
Sullivan started on the bump dealing five innings of one-hit ball and struck out seven betters. Claycomb entered to finish off the last two innings allowing one hit and picking up a strikeout.
Logan Corley led the Dodgers offensively with a 2-for-3 effort which included a double and two RBIs. Kaden Robardey also delivered a multi-RBI performance with two.
- Karson Reeder didn’t allow a hit to Dulins Dodgers for three innings until Jeffrey Claycomb singled in the fourth inning.
- Logan Corley got the first run on the board for Dulins with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
- Hudson Browning extended the lead to 2-0 in the fourth via an RBI double to score Claycomb.
- Kaden Robardey pushed the advantage to 4-0 in the fourth driving in two runs on a single.
- Kaden Robardey capped the big fourth inning with a fifth run, attempting a double steal but crossing home plate before Shane Parker was caught stealing at second.
- Braxton Barber tacked on another run doubling for an RBI in the bottom of the fifth and scored on a balk to push the score to 7-0.
- Both semifinal matchups will start at 8:00 a.m. ET on Monday, as Artillery Baseball squares up with Burn Atlantic Navy while Canes National takes on Dulins Dodgers. Both games are available to stream on YouTube and live stats are available on GameChanger.
Alpha Prime Making the Most of its Cross-Country Experience at 14U Champs NC
CARY, N.C. - For years, USA Baseball has strived to bring the best competition in the country to the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and within the past few summers, the National Team Championships North Carolina has quickly become one of the elite travel ball tournaments in the nation for youth teams.
For one squad, Alpha Prime, it traveled more than 2,500 miles from California to give its players the opportunity to face the top competition this week at the 14U National Team Championships North Carolina. One of the leaders of Alpha Prime, assistant coach Ryan Royster, wants his squad to get the most complete experience out of its cross-country trip.
“For us, we want to play the best competition and challenge our young men,” said Royster. “We want to get better, and this tournament has drawn the best of the best from around the country, so we want to be a part of that. We want to let iron sharpen iron, and kind of live that out to the kids and let them see where they stack up.”
Not only is National Team Championships North Carolina an opportunity for the players from Alpha Prime to experience a higher level of competition, but it’s also a way for them to be exposed to the history that is infused within the grounds of the National Training Complex.
“Beyond the competition, it’s just an opportunity to be here in Cary, North Carolina. As soon as you walk in the facility, you see all the pictures and faces of legendary ball players that these kids look up to and aspire to be like. There’s something about this environment that is special, and we wanted them to be able to experience that at this age as they strive to be back here for national teams and other events as they get older.”
Throughout the week, Royster has been able to watch his players soak in that rich history and be inspired by playing on the same fields that their idols once competed on at their age. It is a way for the young players to, in a sense, connect with those who they aspire to be one day.
“From Major Leaguers to guys that just recently played in the College World Series, they can see these guys on tv and set some goals. It feels real to them knowing that those players were competing here at their age, and now their faces are plastered all over the stadium. It’s like it’s something real for them to aspire to, and it’s always great for them to have those type of tangible goals, even at this young age.”
Traveling across the country, adjusting to a new climate and time zone, and being prepared to compete at a high level can be a tall task. Despite the challenges that can be presented when playing in a new environment, Royster believes that his Alpha Prime squad has been able to adapt and adjust, knowing that doing so is key to having a successful week at the National Team Championships North Carolina.
“Luckily, they’re young, so even though we took some red eyes and things like that they have been able to bounce back and feel pretty good. USA Baseball always do a great job of having the water and Gatorade around to keep the players hydrated. We harp on that, and they do a good job of doing so, but there’s really no choice because the heat out here feels a little oppressive sometimes. They have to make adjustments if they want to perform at this level.
“All the kids here are at such a mature level, and this is something they feel like they want to do for their future. They’re not just out here just to have fun, they’re trying to get something done out here, so I think if we give them the information that they need to stay hydrated and get their rest and things like that they grasp onto it and lock in.”
While taking in this week’s unique experience, Royster hopes his players can see the big picture outside of the playing field. Playing at the national level not only takes a lot of behind-the-scenes efforts but can put things into perspective in terms of what a player’s goal is in their career.
“I hope the guys can have an appreciation of their families and their parents who are making the sacrifices and putting them in positions to play at a facility like this and against competition like this, just a humbling and thankful feeling first and foremost.
“I also want them to be able to see that it’s a big world out here. All the kids on these other teams are the best in their town or high school, but they come out here and see how many kids there are and how hard some people are working. I hope they all see that and get a bit of an understanding of what it takes from a commitment level and focus level to get to the kind of goals they aspire to achieve.”
Judson Dowell Returns to Cary After NTIS Champions Cup Gold
CARY, N.C. – The last time Judson Dowell was at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, he was winning a gold medal at the 2021 13U National Team Identification Series (NTIS) Champions Cup last August.
The next time he is at the USA Baseball National Training Complex, he will be participating in the 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP) this August.
And in between, he is currently at the USA Baseball National Training Complex looking to perform in front of the task force and win a gold medal with Texas Twelve.
Dowell got off to a strong start on Thursday, hitting an RBI double in a 4-3 win for Texas Twelve in their tournament opener. The event began on Thursday and runs through next Monday, with USA Baseball Task Force members keeping tabs on every player.
Because of his past participation in USA Baseball events including the NTIS, Dowell has grown used to playing in front of the USA Baseball Task Force and additional evaluators and scouts. It can be difficult for young players to focus in between the lines when they know that all eyes are on them, but Dowell has been able to zone it out and play his game.
Dowell concentrates on the game itself rather than focusing on the idea of being constantly evaluated.
“I don’t really think about the scouts watching when I play,” Dowell said. “I just focus on my game and not really anyone else.”
That approach paid off for Dowell at last year’s NTIS Champions Cup. Dowell played for the South Stars in the event and helped carry the squad to a gold medal, dominating in the title game. He had multiple RBI hits in a seven-run inning for the South Stars in the win and finished the game on the mound to beat the Southwest Stars.
After his standout performance at the NTIS Champions Cup, Dowell caught the eyes of the USA Baseball Task Force. He received an invite to the 2022 13U/14U ADP as a result, which will bring him back to Cary in the beginning of August.
He was one of 12 players from the 13U event and one of 24 players from the entire NTIS Champions Cup to be selected for the 13U/14U ADP.
“The NTIS experience was awesome,” Dowell said. “I’m glad we made it all the way to the championship and were able to secure the gold.”
His next step will be the 13U/14U ADP, which features 72 of the top 13-and-under and 14-and-under athletes, for a highly developed four-day on- and off-field national team-level instruction and education program. The coaching staff features some of the nation’s best and most established college and high school coaches who will provide guidance to the young athletes at a pivotal time in their baseball careers.
Dowell has already gotten his name in the system at USA Baseball thanks to his invitation to the ADP. And with a strong performance at the ADP in August, Dowell could parlay it into an invite to the 15U National Team Trials.
The ADP serves as a primary identification event for Trials and is within reach for Dowell later this summer.
“I think being able to represent my country would be incredible," Dowell said. "I think I’m set up for it. I just have to show out this year."
Alpha Power 2024 Powers its Way to First Ever Gold Medal at 16U Champs AZ
|Alpha Power 2024||1||2||1||0||4||1||0||9||14||1|
|Easton Prime Red||0||1||1||0||0||0||4||6||6||4|
Win: Wheeler Loss: Christianson Save: None
PHOENIX — Alpha Power 2024 claimed its first ever gold medal on the heels of a 9-6 victory over Easton Prime Red Monday afternoon at the 16U 2022 National Team Championships Arizona inside Surprise Stadium.
14 hits and a four-run fifth inning powered Alpha Power 2024’s to victory, after jumping out a 4-2 advantage through the first three innings. Adrian Garcia rallied for four hits en route to the victory and recorded three runs for the winning team.
Alpha Power 2024 got a big hit early from Sam Young in the first frame as he drove in Garcia on an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. They added two more in the second on a walk and a balk to add to their advantage with the score now 3-0.
Easton Prime Red got one back in the bottom half of the second after plating their first run on a wild pitch. They allowed the bases to be loaded in the top half of the third in the field but rolled a double play ball to limit the damage to only a single run.
With the score being 4-1, a sacrifice fly brought in another run to cut the deficit to two after three full innings of play. Alpha Power ended the scoreless streak with a big fifth inning that proved to be the difference maker after registering runs on an error, walk, and an RBI single from Nolan Randol.
Easton Prime Red rallied with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, including a two-run home run from Nathan Christman to inch closer. However, a strikeout from Mason Ferris ended the comeback attempt and gave Alpha Power their first ever taste of gold.
Alpha Power 2024 ended the 2022 16U National Team Championships with a 7-1-1 record and an otherworldly 69-23 run differential. Their pitching staff struck out 63 batters over nine games spanning a total of 55 innings.
Easton Prime Red suffered its second loss of the tournament to finish with a 7-2 standing. The silver medal was Easton Prime’s second top 3 finish as a program at the National Team Championships Arizona. They also took home the bronze medal last year in 2021 at the 17U level.
CCB Prime White (6-3) bested New Level Baseball 16U (6-3), 7-0, to grab its first ever top 3 finish in the tournament.
- An RBI single from Sam Young plated Liam Barrett who walked earlier in the inning to give Alpha Power 2024 a 1-0 lead.
- An RBI walk for Liam Barrett and a balk scored two runs for Alpha Power 2024 who took a commanding 3-0 lead in the second.
- Easton Prime Red got one back on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the second frame. A sacrifice fly from Cole Hansen cut the deficit to two after Alpha Power added one in the third.
- Alpha Power 2024 put the game away in the fifth, scoring five runs on an error, walk, and an RBI single from Nolan Randol to go up 8-2.
- Bradley Gilbert rallied Easton Prime Red in the bottom of the seventh inning as he knocked in two runs on a single up the middle to make it 9-4.
- In the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, Nolan Christman went deep for Easton Prime Red on a two-run home run to cut the lead to 9-6.
· Alpha Power 2024 concluded the 16U National Team Championships with a 7-1-1 record and a .358 batting average as a team. They also allowed just 23 earned runs over their nine games of tournament play.
· Easton Prime Red concluded the tournament with a 7-2 standing as well and earned the program's first-ever medal at the National Team Championships Arizona. The pitching staff only allowed 20 earned runs throughout the tournament and struck out 59 in nine games.
· Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
TB SoCal Evo Walks out of 14U Champs AZ with Second Gold Medal
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Win: Aguirre Loss: Schlict Save: Brooks
PHOENIX — TB SoCal Evo claimed its first 14U gold medal since 2017 with a 7-4 victory over Lamorinda Arsenal Monday morning at the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona held inside the beautiful Surprise Stadium.
A four-run fifth inning propelled TB SoCal Evo into the lead, and they never looked back on their way to gold. Isaac Aguirre provided five shutout innings of relief with four strikeouts, anchoring a pitching staff that struggled out of the gate.
TB SoCal Evo came out firing on offense, as back-to-back singles from Wyatt Clewett and Nicolas Decorte put the squad in front 2-0. An RBI groundout extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the first frame.
Lamorinda responded with a four spot in the bottom half, as they tallied four hits including an RBI squeeze bunt from Graham Schlict to cut the deficit to one. Tanner Tarpley delivered a sacrifice fly to plate the go-ahead run in the first, as Lamorinda Arsenal snagged a 4-3 lead.
The game remained scoreless as Aguirre was shutdown in relief, keeping Lamorinda Arsenal at bay. He struck out four total in the contest, including striking out the side in the second inning on an immaculate inning. TB SoCal went on to score five unanswered runs over the fourth and fifth frames with the big blow being a two-run triple from Moises Razo.
Lamorinda Arsenal notched a run in the bottom of the sixth but had nothing doing in the seventh following a two-out base hit. The win marked TB SoCal’s second gold medal in the age group, with the last coming in 2017.
TB SoCal Evo concluded the 2022 14U National Team Championships with an 8-1 record and an impressive 77-28 run differential. Earlier in the tournament, their 17U team won gold as well marking the organization’s second championship of the 2022 tournament.
Lamorinda Arsenal suffered its first loss of the tournament to finish with an 8-1 mark. The silver medal was Lamorinda’s first top 3 finish as a program at the National Team Championships Arizona.
NorCal U 2026 (7-2) bested MVP Hustle Black (7-2), 3-2, to grab its second ever top 3 finish at 14U and earn the bronze medal.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Wyatt Clewett and Nicolas Decorte gave TB SoCal Evo a 2-0 lead, and an RBI groundout later in the inning pushed the advantage to three.
Isaiah Mays singled home Hudson Flora after he began the first with a leadoff single. Graham Schlict proceeded to plate another on a squeeze bunt to cut the lead to one, 3-2.
Two sacrifice flies from Landon Cook and Tanner Tarpley on consecutive at bats put Lamorinda Arsenal in front 4-3 after a wild first inning.
Isaac Aguirre threw an immaculate inning in the second frame, striking out the side on nine pitches.
A beautiful throw from TB SoCal’s Jhett Ohira in center field cut down a run in the fourth inning to keep the contest a one-run game.
Mosies Razo tripled home a run and was subsequently brought home on a sacrifice fly by Dane Keener to make it a 7-4 ballgame with TB SoCal in front. Clewett walked in a run with the bases loaded later in the frame to extend the lead to four.
After Lamorinda Arsenal got a run back in the sixth, Bobby Brooks struck out the final batter to secure the team’s second gold medal of the tournament.
· "I’m so proud of our guys who came out here and fought until the very last out each and every game. It feels good to bring home some more hardware after winning it earlier in the month and I just can’t say enough about our guys" — TB SoCal Evo head coach Benny Bonilla
· TB SoCal Baseball concluded the 17U National Team Championships with an 8-1 record and a .380 batting average as a team along with 29 extra-base hits.
· Lamorinda Arsenal concluded the tournament with an 8-1 mark as well and earned the program's first-ever medal at the National Team Championships Arizona. The pitching staff only allowed 25 earned runs throughout the tournament and struck out 46 in nine games.
· Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
TB SoCal Evo, Lamorinda Arsenal, Easton Prime Red, and Alpha Power 2024 advance to the gold-medal games at Champs AZ
PHOENIX – TB SoCal Evo and Lamorinda Arsenal both won their semifinal games to advance to the 14U gold-medal game. Easton Prime Red and Alpha Power 2024 will meet in the championship for the 16U age group after a pair of wins apiece.
(14U) TB SoCal Evo 10, NorCal U 2026 2
TB SoCal Evo used a six-run third inning to propel themselves to a 10-2 run-rule victory over NorCal U 2026. With the win, TB SoCal Evo advances to the championship game on Monday morning.
Wyatt Clewett drove home four runs en route to the victory, including an RBI double in the first inning to open the scoring.
- Following a Hogan Hawkins single, Wyatt Clewett smashed an RBI double over the centerfielder’s head to take a 1-0 lead.
- TB SoCal Evo took advantage of a throwing error in the third inning that plated three runs to grab a 4-0 advantage.
- An RBI double from Nicolas DeCorte and a wild pitch that later scored him capped off a huge six-run third inning.
- Hawkins drove in Dylan Blinn in the fourth frame, followed by an RBI single and RBI double in back-to-back plate appearances to break the game open, 10-0.
- NorCal got two back in the bottom of the fourth inning after crossing home on a wild pitch and a fielding error to cut the deficit to 10-2.
(14U) Lamorinda Arsenal 8, MVP Hustle Black 5
Lamorinda Arsenal secured their spot in the 14U championship game after jumping out an early 8-1 lead, and knocking off the No. 2 seed, 8-5. With the win, Lamorinda remains the only unbeaten team left in the 14U age group holding a perfect 8-0 record.
- A balk scored Lamorinda Arsenal’s Desmond Cobb for the first run of the game after he stole second and third in the same at bat.
- MVP Hustle tied it up on an RBI double to center that scored Isaias Triado after he singled to begin the inning.
- Two runs scored for Lamorinda in the second frame on a squeeze bunt play and wild pitch to put them back in front, 3-1.
- Back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles and a two-run single paved the way for a big five-run fifth inning to put the game away as they led 8-1.
(16U) Easton Prime Red 10, Next Level Baseball 16U 2
Easton Prime Red clinched their spot in the gold-medal game after their second run-rule victory of the day over Next Level Baseball. Earlier in the day, they defeated Trosky Force 16U Prime, 8-0, to advance into the semifinals.
Kade Finazzo netted the win delivering five innings of work while allowing just two runs. Nick Faizo received the loss dealing 2.2 innings with one strikeout and six runs allowed.
- After a double to lead off the inning by Sam Burgess, he was driven home by Joshua Springer to put Easton Prime Red in front 1-0.
- New Level Baseball 16U took the lead in the third inning after back-to-back RBI singles by Gage Thompson and Mason Pike gave them a 2-1 lead.
- Easton Prime Red used a four hit, five-run third frame to secure a 6-2 advantage after big RBI hits from Springer and Isaiah Diaz.
- A throwing error and an RBI single from Nathan Christman added two more runs to their lead in the fourth inning.
- Easton Prime Red walked the game off in the sixth inning after an RBI single off the bat of Keedan Nadeau brought home the game-winning run and sealed the 10-2 victory.
(16U) Alpha Power 2024 6, CCB Prime White 4
Alpha Power 2024 overcame an early two run deficit to beat CCB Prime White 6-4 and round out Monday’s championship games.
RJ Meyn was phenomenal in his start for Alpha Power 2024 as he allowed just one earned run and struck out six over five innings. Mason Wehmeyer took the loss surrendering five runs in three innings pitched.
- After an RBI single, Carter Johnston tripled home a run for the 1-0 advantage early.
- With runners on second and third base, Garcia rocketed a groundball off the third baseman’s glove to drive in a run and tie the game at one.
- Natahan Tichy doubled home a run and Johnston brought home another on a sacrifice fly to build their lead to 3-1.
- Alpha Power 2024 responded with two of their own on a pair of singles that knotted the contest at three.
- A three-hit bottom of the fourth drove home the decisive runs to send Alpha Power to the championship game, including an RBI triple and RBI single from Nolan Randol and Liam Barrett.
TB SoCal Evo takes on Lamorinda Baseball at Surprise Stadium at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 4 in the 14U gold-medal game of the National Team Championships Arizona. On the other side in the 16U bracket, Easton Prime Red meets Alpha Power 2024 for the championship at Surprise Stadium following the earlier game.
Hostetter, Santivanez Earn Player, Pitcher of the Day for July 2 at Champs AZ
Phoenix – Will Hostetter smacked a grand slam and drove home four runs in his two games for BPA San Diego to earn Player of the Day honors for bracket play at the 14U/16U National Team Championships Arizona.
Hostetter left the yard in the top of the eighth inning to give his team the lead, 9-5, in what would eventually be the game-winning hit. On the tournament, he now has six hits with the lone home run and has driven home six runs total.
BPA San Diego fell in the round of 16 to CCB Prime White after winning their opening-round contest.
Nicholas Santivanez (GBG Renegades) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after 5.2 shutout innings on the mound against OC Premier Gray to advance into the round of 16
Santivanez allowed just two hits on the afternoon and fanned a tournament-high 13 in his near six-inning effort. He threw 81 pitches en route to the victory and got ahead of 13 of the 19 batters he faced on the afternoon.
The right-hander guided GBG Renegades (4-2) to an easy 7-0 victory over OC Premier Gray in their game on Saturday.
Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)
16U Jake Sanko (AZBC 2024) – 4-for-7, 3 2B, RBI, 3 R
16U Kahanu Martinez (Pono Hawaii) – 2-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R
14U Daniel Troncale (OC Premier Navy) – 3-for-6, 2 2B, 3B, 5 RBI, R
14U Jake Turner (GBG Vegas) – 4-for-6, 2B, 5 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB
Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day)
16U Cody Kiemele (Easton Prime Clippers) – 7.0 IP, CG, 3 H, ER, 13 K, 3 BB
16U Traig Dughton (Matadors 2024) – 6.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 11 K, 0 BB
14U Aiden Morales (GBG IE 2026) – 7.0 IP, CG, 4 H, ER, 12 K, BB
14U Noah Winseski (BPA Black) – W, 5.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 9 K, 3 BB
Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.
Espinoza, Simurdiak Awarded Player, Pitcher of the Day for June 29 at Champs AZ
Phoenix – Chris Espinoza launched a grand slam over the wall in left field and drove home five runs in his only game for Juggernaut Baseball to grab Player of the Day honors in pool play at the 14U/16U National Team Championships Arizona.
Espinoza homered in the bottom of the first inning and then singled later in the game to bring home his fifth run and give his team a 9-2 lead. They would go on to defeat the California Bears handedly, 13-3.
Juggernaut Baseball is now 2-1 after the first two days of pool play and await their seeded matchup for Thursday.
Gavin Simurdiak (Zoots Baseball Club) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after seven shutout innings on the mound against MBA Navy 2024 to get their first win of pool play.
Simurdiak allowed three hits on the afternoon and fanned six in a complete-game shutout. He threw over 100 pitches en route to the victory and got ahead of 15 of the 27 batters he faced on the afternoon.
The right-hander guided Zoots Baseball Club (1-2) to a routine 3-0 victory over MBA Navy 2024 in their game on Wednesday.
Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)
14U Christopher Moore (New Level Baseball 14U) – 4-for-8, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 2 R
14U Aciel Guillen (FS21 Stars – GBG 2026) – 3-for-3, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 R
16U Andrew Torres (Bombers Baseball Club) – 2-for-4, 3 RBI
16U Dylan Smith (TB SoCal Evo) – 2-for-3, 3B, 4 RBI, R
Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day)
16U Matthew Niezgodzki (Swarm Red Elite 2024) – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 4 K, BB
16U Max Arlich (Trosky National 2024) – 5.0 IP, H, ER, 8 K, 2 BB
14U Alex Blount (Total Baseball Vipers 2026) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8 K, BB
14U Alyis Hernandez (GBG Renegades) – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 3 BB
Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.
Hawkins, Arellano Named Player, Pitcher of the Day for June 28 at Champs AZ
Phoenix – Hogan Hawkins doubled three times and drove home three runs in his two games for TB SoCal Evo to land Player of the Day honors in pool play at the 14U/16U National Team Championships Arizona.
Hawkins doubled in the bottom of the fourth inning for his first RBI as he boosted his team to a 7-0 win over the Saddleback Cowboys Cardinal. He followed that up with a two-run double in the seventh inning of his next game to push his squad to a 13-2 win.
TB SoCal Evo is now 2-0 after the first day of pool play, with Hawkins leading the team in hits (5), doubles (3), and runs batted in (3).
Christian Arellano (Canyon Thunder 2024) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after seven scoreless innings on the mound against BPA Black to get their second win of pool play.
Arellano allowed five hits on the afternoon and fanned nine in a complete-game shutout. He got ahead of 18 of the 24 batters he faced during the game and only surrendered one walk.
The righty guided Canyon Thunder 2024 (2-0) to a close 1-0 victory over the BPA in their game on Tuesday.
Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)
16U Danny Aramblua (CBA Victus San Diego) – 5-for-7, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
16U Brandt Munger (Tri County Prime 2024) – 3-for-3, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R, HBP
14U Jacob Madrid (FS21 Stars – GBG 2026) – 4-for-6, 2B, 3 RBI, 5 R,
14U Ford Stoen (BPA Black) – 4-for-6, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 RBI, 3 R
Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day)
16U Kody Ball (SoCal Birds Orange) – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 13 K, 2 BB
16U Ryan Reynolds (MBA Navy 2024) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8 K, 0 BB
14U Jake Walling (Beach City Prospects 14U) – 4.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 5 K, 3 BB
14U Jake Chung (Legacy Baseball Group Black) – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 0 BB
Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.
14U RBI/Gamers Alaska Look to Leave Their Mark at Champs AZ
3,056 miles. The distance from Juno, Alaska, to Peoria Stadium, the home of the 14U National Team Championships Arizona.
What may seem like a long travel to the average team, pails in comparison to the travel players from Alaska must endure in their own state.
With Alaska being such a big state geographically, teams in state must fly up to two hours just to play a team in their own league. Since such extreme travel is required, it makes funding and fielding a roster very difficult across the state.
Enter RBI Alaska. The program was formed with the hope of giving those passionate about baseball a team to continue playing for at a reduced cost. They also provide an indoor place to play and practice during the state’s unforgiving eight months of winter every year.
“We founded the program with the idea of offering the training we got in a pro setting to kids here in Alaska,” 14U RBI/Gamers Alaska head coach Jamar Hill said. “Giving these kids facilities and consistent practice time throughout the year is a key part in the development of these younger athletes.”
The main problem for Hill was that a lot of the kids he wanted to be impacting just couldn’t afford the program. He responded by turning the program into a non-profit and partnering with the MLB RBI initiative to gain some funding and accessibility for all kids.
Although the state is large, populations in each city remain relatively low compared to their counterparts on the west coast. However, Hill mentioned every town has a “Mr. Baseball” of their community and his vision is to get them on the same team to represent The Last Frontier.
“We have the talent out here, we just don’t have the depth of some of the other teams like California and Arizona,” Hill said. “Coming out to Phoenix exposes them to top level baseball and makes them ask themselves if it’s something they’re really committed to.”
Alaska has produced a handful of high-level players such as Chad Bentz of the Montreal Expos and Matt Way of Washington State. There is a baseball culture in the state, but Hill says the National Team Championships Arizona help give them some exposure on the mainland.
Back home, Alaska plays host to a Collegiate National League over the summer months that have seen some prominent big leaguers pass through the system. Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt are two recent all-stars who have spent time with the Anchorage Bucs, part of the Alaska Baseball League.
The league sometimes starts games at midnight and goes throughout the waning hours of the morning with the sun still shining bright in the sky. Dubbed the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” it’s a unique opportunity that many players have dreamed of taking part in for years.
“There are a lot of big-name guys who have come through this league, and I think that has anchored the Alaska baseball culture,” Hill said. “It’s kept our state connected to the game in a way you wouldn’t imagine based on the weather here.”
As the championships begin, they hope to pride themselves on the way they treat others, similar to that of their home state’s thriving tourism industry. With visitors being a big part of their state’s economy, he wants to expose others to the culture of Alaska and get them to come visit during the summer.
However, for the next week they will battle the Arizona heat as they look to leave their mark on the championships that have had these kids excited for months. And who knows, they might even bring you some Alaska native smoked salmon if you’re lucky!
TB SoCal Evo Strikes Gold After 3-2 Win At 17U Champs AZ
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Win: Villalpando Loss: Karney Save: None
PHOENIX — TB SoCal Evo claimed back-to-back gold medals with a 3-2 victory over Juggernaut Baseball Texas in the championship game of the 17U National Team Championships Arizona on Sunday at Peoria Sports Complex (Main Stadium).
A three-run second inning propelled TB SoCal Evo into the lead, and they never looked back. Cole Tybra was phenomenal in relief for the gold-medal winners, tossing 4.0 innings of shutout baseball to cap off the victory.
Juggernaut Baseball Texas got on the board first, as an RBI double from Jarren Sanderson scored a run to go up 1-0 in the first frame. TB SoCal Evo responded with two baserunners in the bottom half with nothing doing for the defending champions.
However, they struck in the second after a triple to lead off the inning flipped all momentum to their dugout. A pair of RBI singles from Michael Walshe and Abbrie Covarrubias pushed TB SoCal Evo into the lead, as they held a 3-1 advantage.
The game remained scoreless as Tybra was shutdown in relief, keeping Juggernaut Baseball Texas at bay. He struck out eight total in the contest, including striking out the side in the sixth inning. Juggernaut Baseball Texas managed a run in the top of the seventh on a throwing error but struck out to end the game.
TB SoCal Evo concluded the 2022 17U National Team Championships with a perfect 9-0 mark and an impressive 62-11 run differential. They took home the gold at the 16U level last year, and now won it again at the 17U level.
Juggernaut Baseball Texas suffered its second loss of the tournament and finished with a 7-2 record. The silver medal marks Juggernaut’s first top 3 finish as a program at the National Team Championships Arizona.
Zoots Baseball Club Black (6-2) knocked off Diablo Valley Baseball Club (6-2), 8-7, to grab its third ever top 3 finish and earn the bronze medal.
· Jarren Sanderson broke open the scoring with an RBI double to left field which put Juggernaut Baseball Texas up 1-0.
· Following an Isaac Cadena triple, TB SoCal Evo tied the game on an RBI single from Michael Wlashe in the bottom of the second.
· TB SoCal wasn’t done in the second, as Abbrie Covarrubias brought home two runs on a single to right field for a 3-1 lead.
· Jaycob Villalpando struck out Jarren Sanderson with runners on the corners in the top of third to get out of the frame unscathed.
· Cole Tybra struck out the side in the sixth inning to keep the game at 3-1, recording punchouts No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6.
· A throwing error plated a run for Juggernaut Baseball Texas in the top half of the seventh to cut the deficit to 3-2.
· "I’m so proud of our guys to come out after winning it last year and getting the job done on the field. We’ve battled through a of adversity to get to this point to get here and it’s nice to be rewarded with a gold medal for back-to-back years." — TB SoCal Evo head coach Benny Bonilla
· TB SoCal Baseball concluded the 17U National Team Championships with a perfect 9-0 record and a 0.97 ERA as a team. They also tallied 25 extra-base hits and held a team batting average of .338.
· Juggernaut Baseball Texas finished the tournament with an 8-1 mark and earned the program's fifth-ever medal at the National Team Championships Arizona. The pitching staff only allowed 10 earned runs throughout the tournament and struck out 68 in nine games.
· Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
TB SoCal Evo, Juggernaut Baseball Texas Secure Spot in Gold-Medal Game at 17U Champs AZ
PHOENIX — TB SoCal Evo and Juggernaut Baseball Texas secured their place in the gold-medal game at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona with two wins on Saturday.
Both teams will square off with a gold medal on the line Sunday at Peoria Sports Complex (Main Stadium) as first pitch is set for 9 a.m. MT.
Semifinal — TB SoCal Evo 4, Diablo Valley Baseball Club 0
The No. 1 seed for a reason, TB SoCal Evo’s pitching staff combined to shutout the Diablo Valley Baseball Club, 4-0, and clinch its spot in the championship game.
Andrew Miehe started the game for TB SoCal Evo and went five innings strong, only allowing three hits on the afternoon. Jordan Cole came in to shut the door, keeping the lead and shutout intact for the defending champions.
Two wild pitches in the bottom of the second frame put TB SoCal Evo ahead 2-0 for the game’s first runs. Later in the fifth inning they added two more after a dropped-third strike and an RBI single from Blake Wilson extended the lead to four.
Diablo Valley Baseball Club struggled to get anything going offensively after they defeated 3D Gold earlier in the morning 6-2 to advance to the semifinals. They only got two runners in scoring position all game and managed just four hits on the contest.
TB SoCal is the only unbeaten team remaining in the tournament, outscoring their opponents 59-9 over their eight games. As a team, they boast an ERA under one and have a batting average north of .350 with 24 extra-base hits.
Semifinal — Juggernaut Baseball Texas 2, Zoots Baseball Club Black 1
A sacrifice fly from Nikolas Miller pushed Juggernaut Baseball Texas to the gold-medal game at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona with a close 2-1 semifinal win against Zoots Baseball Club Black.
After going scoreless for the first four innings, Zoots Baseball finally pushed across a run after a walk and an RBI triple from Anthony Scheppler made it a 1-0 ballgame. Juggernaut Baseball responded with a run of their own in the bottom half after a sacrifice fly from Jimmyll Williams tied the game at one.
It was foreshadowing what was to come later in the game, as both teams entered the seventh knotted at one. With Zoots Baseball going down quietly in the top half of the seventh, Juggernaut Baseball quickly loaded up the bases with one out.
Miller was the hero, driving across the winning run on a bullet to center field which allowed Jose Fernandez to easily score the deciding run. It was Miller’s third RBI of the tournament, with this one being the biggest as he sent Juggernaut Baseball on to the gold-medal game.
It was a pitcher’s duel throughout as both teams combined for just five hits and three runs. Juggernaut Baseball lowered its team ERA to 1.24 on the tournament, as Sunday’s matchup figures to be a low-scoring contest.
- "It’s exciting to be back here after winning it last year and watching kids step up now is awesome to see. We’re going to come out and compete tomorrow and hopefully bring back another championship.” — TB SoCal Evo head coach Benny Bonilla
- "I’m so proud of our guys after working together to pull off a win like that against a really tough team. They play as a unit and are hard to beat when working together and hopefully tomorrow we can get the job done. " — Juggernaut Baseball Texas head coach Keith Harwood.
- TB SoCal Evo (8-0), the No. 1 seed, will face Juggernaut Baseball Texas (7-1), the 10th seed, in the gold-medal game of the 17U National Team Championships Arizona at 9 a.m. MT at Peoria Sports Complex (Main Stadium).
- Diablo Valley Baseball Club (6-2) and Zoots Baseball Club Black (6-2) will square off for bronze at 9 a.m. MT at Peoria Sports Complex (Padres 6).
- Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.