USA BASEBALL NEWS

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Warm Welcome For 13U National Team Championships North Carolina Debut

13U Champs NC provides a better tomorrow for USA Baseball
June 19, 2022
Cary, N.C. \- National Team Championships North Carolina welcomed a brand-new age group to the tournament in 2022 with 13-and-under squads on Saturday. There was plenty of energy around the USA Baseball National Training Complex, as patrons were eager to see the opportunities the event presents for the young competitors.

Cary, N.C. - National Team Championships North Carolina welcomed a brand-new age group to the tournament in 2022 with 13-and-under squads on Saturday. There was plenty of energy around the USA Baseball National Training Complex, as patrons were eager to see the opportunities the event presents for the young competitors.

Ira Rootman is one of the players who is excited to be a part of USA Baseball history as one of the first participants competing at the 13U National Team Championships North Carolina. The outfielder from Legacy Baseball has participated in the 2019 USA Baseball Futures Invitational and represented the 13U Southwest Stripes at the 2021 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series Champions Cup, and he is pumped up to add National Team Championships to his list of USA Baseball events that he has participated in.

“It was an amazing idea to expand the National Team Champions North Carolina to 13U,” said Rootman. “You come out here and it’s an amazing experience to be around all the top guys in the nation. We’re competing for gold. It’s making everyone better as a player.”

The atmosphere at Coleman Field is providing a big league feel for these young guns ready to prove themselves to the onlookers around the complex. With big-time names of baseball representing their country on these very same fields, it is no surprise there is a sense of euphoria overcoming the ballplayers. Knowing Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Trea Turner, as well as many others, have run around these diamonds can be surreal.

“I played on Coleman Field today and it was like playing in the MLB,” said Rootman. “You hear your name announced and you can feel the presence that superstars played here before. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here and I’m going to keep balling out.”

The opportunity for the 13-and-under group to compete at the National Team Championships presented itself with the expansion of invitations to the 2022 13U/14U Athlete Development Program (ADP). With ADP increasing the number of invitations from 40 to 72, there was a missing piece at play - a true identification event for the 13U age group.

There was a perfect solution for the dilemma – adding a 13U tournament at National Team Championships North Carolina. This allows for an incredible chance for development at this age, and USA Baseball Task Force member Bryan Madsen sees a bright future in his sights.

“It gives them a chance to develop in an environment that is the best,” said Madsen. “The best training environment that this age group hasn’t had before, which is only going to help benefit the players and the USA Baseball program as they get older. I think you’re going to see a real advancement in the 13- and 14-year-old ages, as well as the 15U National Team, with the expansion of ADP this year.”

A familiar face at the complex echoed a similar message as Madsen’s. 2021 15U National Team Manager Jared Halpert is at the helm for Legacy Baseball hoping to secure a gold medal. While the tournament title is in his sights, Halpert believes this is a great place to begin the transition for younger players towards the next level.

“Giving these younger kids the ability to bridge the gap of high school, collegiate, and professional athletes to play on the same field that they are playing on is incredible,” said Halpert. “For them to have the opportunity to get on the National Training Complex and get comfortable with the dimensions that they’re going to have to play when they get of age is invaluable.”

With all the participants prepared to showcase their skills and keen on earning an ADP invitation, Halpert has words of wisdom for them all.

“My advice to all these players is play like you love it. Put your heart on your sleeve and go out here hard as you can. That’s what these coaches are looking for is kids who love this game and will do anything to get on this field to go compete.”

The love of baseball is here in Cary and USA Baseball is loving this new chapter in its organization.

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Alaska

14U RBI/Gamers Alaska Look to Leave Their Mark at Champs AZ

June 28, 2022
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

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!

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TB SoCal Evo Strikes Gold After 3-2 Win At 17U Champs AZ

June 26, 2022
Win: Villalpando Loss: Karney Save: None
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Juggernaut Baseball Texas 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 1
TB SoCal Evo 0 3 0 0 0 0 X 3 4 1

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.

Key Moments

· 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.

Notable Information

·      "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

On Deck

·      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.

Social

·      Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.

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TB SoCal Evo, Juggernaut Baseball Texas Secure Spot in Gold-Medal Game at 17U Champs AZ

June 25, 2022
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

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.

Dugout Chatter

  • "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.

On Deck

  • 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).

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
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16U National Team Championships North Carolina All-Tournament Team Revealed

Gold medal-winning Texas Twelve led all teams with three All-Tournament Team selections
June 25, 2022
CARY, N.C. – The 16U 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 10 of the tournament’s 16 teams, including a tournament-high three

CARY, N.C. – The 16U 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 10 of the tournament’s 16 teams, including a tournament-high three from the gold medal-winning Texas Twelve.

Cuyler Baxter – Artillery Baseball

Cuyler Baxter led Artillery Baseball offensively hitting .533 (8-15) with two runs scored.

Kyle Branch – Dulins Dodgers Prime

Kyle Branch finished the tournament hitting .381 (8-21) with a .480 on-base percentage scoring a team-best five runs for the silver medalist Dulins Dodgers Prime.

Michael Catalano – Dulins Dodgers Prime

Michael Catalano delivered a strong five inning start for Dulins Dodgers Prime allowing zero earned runs and striking out six in the complete-game.

Hunter Chambers – Richmond Braves Platinum

Hunter Chambers provided six innings for Richmond Braves and had a strong three inning start yielding just one hit and striking out five.

Chase Fralick – eXposure Prime

Chase Fralick drove in a tournament-best eight runs for eXposure Prime and hit .563 (9-16) with five walks.

Marco Gonzales – Texas Twelve

Marco Gonzales concluded with a .467 average (7-15) with three RBIs and four walks to help lead Texas Twelve to a gold medal.

Walter Berry Hawsey – Knights Knation

Walter Berry Hawsey hit a team-best .471 (8-17) with three RBI and five runs scored for Knights Knation.

Alan Lopez – Banditos Scout

Alan Lopez batted a team-best .438 (7-15) for Banditos Scout and had four stolen bases in the tournament.

Casen Murphy – Canes Prospects

Casen Murphy didn’t allow an earned run in five innings for Canes Prospects striking out eight in two relief appearances.

John Parker Nunn – East Cobb Astros

John Parker Nunn dealt a team-best 5.2 innings and eight strikeouts with a 1.24 ERA for East Cobb Astros.

Braylon Payne – Texas Twelve

Braylon Payne recorded a tournament-best 10 hits and scored seven runs while swiping four bases for the gold medal-winning Texas Twelve.

William Schmidt – Knights Knation

William Schmidt was dominant for Knights Knation in his start against gold medalist Texas Twelve striking out 10 in 5.1 innings and allowing no earned runs.

Brennon Seigler – eXposure Prime

Brennon Seigler stole a tournament-best seven bags for bronze medal-winning eXposure Prime while slashing .533/.667/.733 with two extra-base hits.

Levi Sterling – Legacy Baseball Group

Levi Sterling pitched seven innings for Legacy Baseball Group surrendering just two hits across two starts with 10 strikeouts. 

Nolan Veeder – Texas Twelve

Nolan Veeder led the tournament with 10.1 innings pitched with a 1.36 ERA and earned the win in the gold medal match for Texas Twelve.

Cooper Williams – Banditos Scout

Cooper Williams struck out 12 batters in six innings pitched for Banditos Scout highlighted by 3.2 innings in relief allowing one hit against Knights Knation.

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

Texas Twelve narrowly defeats Dulins Dodgers Prime to earn their second gold medal of the 2022 National Team Championships North Carolina
June 25, 2022
CARY, NC – Texas Twelve came out on top in a close one-run matchup with Dulins Dodgers Prime to exit the gold medal match victorious by a score of 3-2 at the 16U National Team Championships North Carolina on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. After Dulins Dodgers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game Highlights:

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

Notable Information:

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

Quotables:

Nolan Veeder on winning gold…

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

Braylon Payne on his performance offensively throughout the tournament…

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

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Dulins Dodgers Prime to Face Texas Twelve in the 16U National Team Championships NC Gold Medal Game

Dulins Dodgers, Texas Twelve shutout their opponents to lock their spots for Saturday's championship match
June 25, 2022
CARY, N.C \- Dulins Dodgers Prime and Texas Twelve blanked their opponents in the semifinals to earn their spots into the 16U National Team Championship gold medal game on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex. Dulins Dodgers Prime 9, Richmond Braves Platinum 0 Dulins Dodgers Prime used a

CARY, N.C - Dulins Dodgers Prime and Texas Twelve blanked their opponents in the semifinals to earn their spots into the 16U National Team Championship gold medal game on Saturday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

Dulins Dodgers Prime 9, Richmond Braves Platinum 0

Dulins Dodgers Prime used a five-run inning in the bottom of the third to distance themselves from Richmond Braves Platinum. The Dodgers run support for Owen Lawson allowed the starter to work comfortably on the mound going five shutout innings and allowing three hits while striking out six. Lawson earned the complete-game victory and Jackson Runyon took the loss allowing six runs, one earned, in two innings of work for the Braves.

Game Highlights:

  • A hit by pitch and two walks loaded the bases for Matthew Mainord where he hit into a double play to score one in the bottom of the second for a 1-0 lead.
  • Dulins Dodgers Prime broke out to a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the third tallying a hit by pitch, two walks, and three hits. The biggest hit came from Michael Catalano doubling to right field for two RBIs. Richmond Braves also made two errors in the inning.
  • Brooks Surtain (2-for-4, two RBI) delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth increasing the lead to 7-0.
  • Donovan Mitchell (1-for-2, three RBI) sent a game-ending two RBI homer to left field to clinch the 9-0 victory on the run-rule in the bottom of the sixth.

Texas Twelve 2, eXposure Prime 0

Texas Twelve scratched across one run in both of the first two innings and that was enough for Blayne Lyne to cruise to 5.2 shutout innings yielding three hits and striking out four batters for the win. Brady Corcoran extinguished the eXposure scoring threat in the top of the sixth forcing a ground out after Lyne allowed two consecutive singles with two outs. Corcoran would return for the seventh inning and retired the side in order for the save. Reilly tossed a complete game in the loss allowing eight hits on two runs, one earned, and striking out six.

Game Highlights:

  • Braylon Payne (2-for-3) singled to lead off the bottom of the first and Isaiah Castaneda dropped a single into right field for an RBI to drive Payne in for the 1-0 lead.
  • Mason Jacob hit a single right back to the pitcher to open the bottom of the second and advanced to second on a passed ball.
  • Marco Gonzales (2-for-2) singled through the right side allowing Mason Jacob to score from second for the RBI increasing the lead to 2-0.
  • Hudson Lettermam and Brennon Seigler attempted to rally eXposure Prime providing two consecutive singles with two outs in the top of the sixth.
  • Brady Corcoran relieved Blayne Lyne in the top of the sixth and forced a groundout to shortstop to end the inning.
  • Brady Corcoran induced a 1-2-3 inning to finish the game and complete the win for Texas Twelve.
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Stellar Pitching Highlights Rounds of 32, 16 at Champs Arizona

June 24, 2022
PHOENIX — A crazy extra-inning affair highlighted a strong day of 17U bracket play action from the National Team Championships Arizona. The field was narrowed down to just eight teams remaining in the winner’s bracket, as we break down some of the action from Friday morning. Round of 32 —

PHOENIX — A crazy extra-inning affair highlighted a strong day of 17U bracket play action from the National Team Championships Arizona.

The field was narrowed down to just eight teams remaining in the winner’s bracket, as we break down some of the action from Friday morning.

Round of 32 — Team California Black 9, GBG Navy 2023 0

With a spot in the round of 16 on the line, Tyler Albanese delivered for the No. 15 seed going all five innings without allowing a run while striking out seven. The right-hander scattered three hits and surrendered just one walk in his first outing of the tournament.

Team California’s offense continued its momentum after scoring 28 runs through the first four games. Lauren Binney broke open the scoring with an RBI double in the second, which Matthew Bernath immediately followed up with an RBI single to grab a 2-0 lead.

After Albanese notched strikeouts five and six, Cole Kenrich ripped a bases-clearing double to left field to break the game open. It was one of the team’s five doubles on the afternoon, the most in any game they’ve played thus far.

Chaz Mcnelis and Trevor LaPres polished off the run-rule victory with a pair of RBI singles to propel Team California Black to a 9-0 win. It marked the fourth time in five games that the squad has held its opponents to under two runs in a game.

Afterwards, Team California Black fell in the round of 16 and will await its consolation opponent for Saturday.

Round of 16 — 3D Gold 7, Long Beach Bears 4

It took a while to determine a winner, but 3D Gold advanced to the quarterfinals after an extra-inning victory over the Long Beach Bears

The No. 13 seed, who knocked off the No. 20 seed Whitecaps Baseball Academy earlier in the day, rallied for five runs in the eighth and final inning. With runners on first and second base, due to the international tiebreaker rule, a pair of singles and a wild pitch plated the winning runs to push 3D Gold onward.

Both starting pitchers were phenomenal in a game that began as a pitcher’s duel through the originally scheduled seven innings. Combined the team’s had 21 strikeouts and didn’t allow many free passes to hurt their team.

Matthew Thomas got the party started with an RBI single for the Long Beach Bears to put his team up 1-0 early. A wild pitch then plated two for 3D Gold to push them into the lead with a 2-1 advantage in the second frame. Thomas then tripled, driving in the team’s second run to tie the ballgame at two apiece.

Neither team scored until the eighth, where 3D Gold exploded for five runs in the top half after notching four hits. The Long Beach Bears couldn’t match that, bringing across two runs but ending the game on a groundout to third. It marked their first loss of the tournament and the end of their journey in the winner’s bracket.

3D Gold will meet Diablo Valley Baseball Club on Saturday at 7 a.m. in the quarterfinals.

Quotes

  • "Our guys competed well and that started with Tyler coming out and throwing strikes. We saw the ball well and Lauren Binney gave us a big knock with two outs that pushed our team forward and gave us confidence." — Team California Black head coach Mitch Spiers said.

Social

  • Stay tuned to @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the National Team Championships Arizona.
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Rodriguez, Lane Tabbed Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 24 at Champs AZ

June 24, 2022
Phoenix – Joshua Rodriguez homered and drove home six runs in his only game for GBG Navy American 2023 to earn Player of the Day Honors in seeded play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona. Rodriguez left the yard in the top of the fifth inning when he hammered

Phoenix – Joshua Rodriguez homered and drove home six runs in his only game for GBG Navy American 2023 to earn Player of the Day Honors in seeded play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona.

Rodriguez left the yard in the top of the fifth inning when he hammered a three-run shot over the wall in right field to extend his team’s lead to 7-2. His two-run double earlier in the game opened the scoring, while his RBI single later in the game closed it with the final of 9-7.

In the tournament, Rodriguez is now 7-for-17 and has led GBG Navy American 2023 to a 3-1-1 record.

Carson Lane (Long Beach Bears) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after six scoreless innings on the mound against the GBG Renegades to advance to the round of 16 in bracket play. 

Lane allowed just four hits on the afternoon and fanned 11 in just under 90 pitches for his team. So far this tournament, he has not allowed a run over his two outings, going 9.0 innings and striking out a total of 13 hitters.

The righty guided the Long Beach Bears (5-1) to an easy 5-0 victory over the GBG Renegades in their game on Friday.

Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)

Jonathan Rodriguez (TB SoCal Evo) – 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, R 

Henry Tripaldi (Diablo Valley Baseball Club) – 3-for-6, 5 RBI, R

Kai Hopfel (Canes West Black) – 3-for-6, 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R

Vaughn Stevens (Tustin Scorpions) – 2-for-5, 3B, 4 RBI, R, HBP

Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day)

Brando Luu (TB SoCal Evo) – W, CG, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7 K, 0 BB

Coleton Dahl (Team California Black) – 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 13 K, 2 BB

Henry Souza (Zoots Baseball Club) – W, CG, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 9 K, 2 BB

Shane Bailey (CBA Victus San Diego) – W, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 6 K, 2 BB

Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.

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16U National Team Championships North Carolina Semifinals Set For Saturday

Dulins Dodgers Prime, eXposure Prime, Richmond Braves Platinum, and Texas Twelve advanced to Saturday’s 2022 16U National Team Championships North Carolina semifinals
June 24, 2022
CARY, N.C. – Dulins Dodgers Prime, eXposure Prime, Richmond Braves Platinum, and Texas Twelve advanced to Saturday’s 2022 16U National Team Championships North Carolina semifinals after winning their quarterfinal games on Friday.

CARY, N.C. – Dulins Dodgers Prime, eXposure Prime, Richmond Braves Platinum, and Texas Twelve advanced to Saturday’s 2022 16U National Team Championships North Carolina semifinals after winning their quarterfinal games on Friday.

eXposure Prime 11, Banditos Scout 1

eXposure Prime bats fired out the gates at Coleman Field and held the momentum the entire game to win the first quarterfinal game 11-1 over Banditos Scout. With the victory, eXposure advances to the semifinal on Saturday morning.

Ben Johnson collected the win dealing 3.1 innings with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. Tristan Bristow suffered the loss yielding nine runs, six earned, through two innings.

Game Highlights:

  • Brennon Seigler led the game off with a single and came home on an RBI single by Chase Fralick for the 1-0 lead.
  • Anthony Tralongo scored on a throwing error by the Banditos catcher making it 2-0 to end the first.
  • Cayden Sheffield tacked on another in the top of the second pushing the lead to 3-0 on an RBI single.
  • eXposure utilized a six-run inning in the top of the third enhancing their advantage to 9-0. Henry Allen and Jason Bello notched RBI singles with Fralick delivering a two RBI single for his third RBI of the game. Riley Luft followed Fralick up with an RBI triple to knock him in. Eli Evans capped off the scoring via an RBI fielder’s choice.
  • Holden Harris recorded the Banditos’ lone run in the bottom of the fourth, driving in Alex Valentin on a fielder’s choice.
  • Seigler picked up a two RBI double on a deep blast to the left field wall in the fifth to conclude the scoring in a 11-1 win.

Texas Twelve 7, Legacy Baseball Group 3

The Texas Twelve utilized a six-run outburst in the second inning and held off the Legacy Baseball Group winning 7-3 to clinch their semifinal spot.

Isaiah Castaneda earned the victory providing five innings of one hit ball and yielding just one run to Legacy. Grayden Levin took the loss tossing 2.2 innings and allowing seven runs.

Game Highlights:

  • Mason Jacob tripled to center field in the second inning to bring home two for the 2-0 lead.
  • Trace Meadows and Braylon Payne notched back-to-back RBI doubles increasing the lead to 5-0 in the second. Payne would come into score on a wild pitch for the 6-0 advantage.
  • Gregory Rangel provided the first run of the game for Legacy on an RBI single in the top of the fith.
  • Legacy attempted to rally in the top of the seventh pushing two runs across. Julian Areliz doubled to drive in the first run and Matthew Churchill followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-3.

Dulins Dodgers Prime 2, Knights Knation 1

Dulins Dodgers Prime locked in their place in the semifinals in walk-off fashion to beat Knights Knation 2-1. It was pitching duel for almost the entire game as neither side was able to score until the seventh inning.

Parker Bowman netted the win delivering a complete-game and yielding just one run. Bryce Navarre received the loss dealing 6.1 innings with six strikeouts and two runs allowed.

Game Highlights:

  • Kyle Branch was the first runner in the game to reach third on either side as he led off the bottom of the fifth for the Dodgers with a triple to center field. Hayden Federico ended the inning for Knights Knation doubling Branch off at third after making a great catch in foul territory.
  • Konnor Griffin hit a triple to right field in the top of the seventh setting up an opportunity for Knights Knation to strike.
  • Trip Dobson brought Griffin home on a single for the 1-0 lead.
  • Dulins Dodgers utilized small ball following the leadoff single by Michael Catalano as Matthew Mainord and Kendyl Johnson laid down bunt singles to load the bases.
  • Owen Lee stepped up to the plate and sent the game-winning hit down the right field for the Dodgers 2-1 win.

Richmond Braves Platinum 7, Canes Prospects 4

Richmond Braves Platinum overcame an early three run deficit to beat Canes Prospects 7-4 and round out the quarterfinal games for the final semifinal spot.

Cord Yates entered in relief to earn the win silencing the Canes Prospects in 3.1 hitless innings and striking out three. Hogan Denny took the loss surrendering two runs in one inning pitched.

Game Highlights:

  • With the bases loaded in the top of the first, Yoon Chae was hit by a pitch for a Richmond Braves 1-0 lead.
  • Canes Prospects answered in the bottom of the first utilizing three RBI singles by Riley Williams, Tyler Inge, and JT Stiner for a 4-1 lead.
  • Tanner Schaedel cut the deficit to 4-2 thanks to a sacrifice fly in the top of the second.
  • In the top of the fourth, Preston Groves began the two-run inning with a sacrifice fly and Luke Harlow tied it 4-4 with an RBI single.
  • Yoon Chae gave the Braves a 6-4 lead on a two RBI single and Dominick Cafferillo walked to bring in another run for insurance.

Richmond Braves Platinum takes on Dulins Dodgers Prime on Coleman Field at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 25 in the semifinals of the 16U National Team Championships North Carolina. On the other side of the bracket, eXposure Prime meets Texas Twelve for the semifinal on Field 2 at 8:15 a.m.

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Konnor Griffin's Confidence Fuels Him to Keep Playing Hard

Konnor Griffin is back at the National Team Championships North Carolina hoping to add to his USA Baseball resume.
June 23, 2022
CARY, NC – Baseball is a game of failure – with as many ups as there are in the game, there are just as many downs. Konnor Griffin is a ball player who has experienced plenty of high moments in his young baseball career, but is learning to believe in

CARY, NC – Baseball is a game of failure – with as many ups as there are in the game, there are just as many downs. Konnor Griffin is a ball player who has experienced plenty of high moments in his young baseball career, but is learning to believe in his game when the going gets tough as he fights for an invitation to the 2022 16U/17U National Team Development Program (NTDP).

His mindset to accomplish this feat is simple.

“Playing hard every game,” said Griffin who returns to 2022 16U National Team Championships with Knights Knation. “Giving it all I’ve got and hopefully the success comes. Sometimes this game can be hard and come with a lot of failure. I know I’ve got to stick to my plan and give it my all.”

At the 2021 14U National Team Championships North Carolina, Griffin was a walking highlight-reel. Slashing .455/.533/.545 with five runs batted in for Knights Knation, he put the complex on notice by stealing home and helping the team narrowly defeat Richmond Braves Platinum 9-8.

Word of Griffin’s play traveled around to the USA Baseball Task Force as they sought the best individuals to invite to the 2021 15U National Team trials.

There was no better feeling than receiving the invitation for an opportunity to prove himself and hone his craft among the finest at his age.

“It was awesome. Getting recognized as one of the top players in the country is always an honor. I went to the trials and had a really great time. I came out of the trials a better baseball player by competing against all my teammates every single day.”

Griffin’s experience at trials allowed him to build up confidence and show he belongs among the best. As a member of the Stars at trials, Griffin displayed his game-changing ability by going 2-for-3 with two doubles and swiping three bags in five games played. He also dealt 2.2 innings and struck out four to not allow a run to score. The dynamic play earned him a spot as one of 20 athletes on the 2021 15U National Team.

The moment hearing his name called was a moment unlike any the Mississippi native has ever experienced.

“It’s one of the best moments I’ve had in my life with baseball. I’ve been working for it for so long. To represent not only my country but being the only guy from Mississippi to make the 15U National Team was an honor.”

Griffin is not complacent with the lone national team selection at 15U and is hoping to don the red, white, and blue once more. While a potential invitation to the 2022 16U/17U NTDP is the first step, he has an even bigger goal in mind.

“One of my biggest goals coming up is making the 18U National Team. I just recently re-classified to 2024, so I’ll be a 17-year-old trying to make the 18U National Team. That will be a big challenge for me, but I’m going to work hard and try my best.”

While making the 2022 18U National Team is going to be a hard mountain to climb, Griffin is certainly up for the task.

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Stull, Cons Earn Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 22 at Champs AZ

June 22, 2022
Phoenix – Tyler Stull went deep and drove home four runs in his only game for the GBG Renegades to secure Player of the Day Honors in seeded play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona. Stull left the yard in the bottom of the first inning as he smashed

Phoenix – Tyler Stull went deep and drove home four runs in his only game for the GBG Renegades to secure Player of the Day Honors in seeded play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona.

Stull left the yard in the bottom of the first inning as he smashed a two-run shot over the wall in left field to put his team up 3-0. His RBI single later in the game tied the contest at 11 and gave his team the opportunity to walk it off with a 12-11 victory.

Over his last two games, Stull is now 4-for-6 and has led the GBG Renegades to a 3-1 record as they await the bracket reveal.

Matthew Cons (California Armada 2023) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after a complete-game shutout on the mound against BPA Black to remain unbeaten after seeded play.

Cons allowed only three hits on the afternoon and fanned five in just under 100 pitches for his team. He got ahead of 18 of the 27 batters he faced and didn’t allow any runs in his first tournament outing.

The lefty guided California Armada 2023 (4-0) to a narrow 1-0 victory in their game on Wednesday.

Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)

Colby Turner (Alpha SoCal 2023) – 3-for-3, 3 2B, 3 RBI, BB

Jason Arriola (Rios Baseball) – 2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, BB

Cam Hale (New Level Baseball) – 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R

Dean Lopez (EJ Sports Warriors) – 2-for-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI, R

Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day)

Jackie Palmer (FBK1 Baseball Club 17U) – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 2 BB

Julian Cuevas (Easton Prime Navy) – W, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 7 K, 2 BB

RJ Meyn (Diablo Valley Baseball Club) – W, 4.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 7 K, 0 BB

Maxwell Dering (TB SoCal White) – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 K, BB

Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.

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USA Baseball Alums, Event Participants Reflect on Lessons Learned with Team USA

Pfau, Reiland, and Southisene discuss the importance of the USA Baseball way
June 22, 2022
CARY, NC – At this week’s USA Baseball 16U National Team Championships North Carolina, Team USA alumni and event participants are everywhere. And although they are wearing their respective travel team jerseys, the lessons they learned while wearing the Team USA uniform have stuck with them throughout their baseball careers.

CARY, NC – At this week’s USA Baseball 16U National Team Championships North Carolina, Team USA alumni and event participants are everywhere.

And although they are wearing their respective travel team jerseys, the lessons they learned while wearing the Team USA uniform have stuck with them throughout their baseball careers.

Playing baseball with the United States across your chest comes with the responsibility of representing your country in a highest manner possible. For two-time Team USA alum Ben Reiland, that means having high character at all times.

“It’s very important to have great character because you don’t want your coaches to worry about what you’re doing on or off the field,” said Reiland, who is playing with USA Prime National in the tournament. “It’s good for your coaches to know you’re doing the right thing. You’re being polite, you’re being nice, you’re being respectful. It’s always a great example to set for little kids.”

Reiland, who has spent two summers in the stars and stripes and also participated in the 2019 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP), is well aware of the type of player USA Baseball looks for every summer. While talent on the field is important and a necessity, players must be good teammates and people in order to be selected to represent their country.

“The USA Baseball way is just doing everything right, from the little things to the big things on and off the field” Reiland said. “It’s about playing baseball the way it’s supposed to be played.”

Another Team USA alum who is in town for the 16U National Team Championships North Carolina is Julius Pfau, who played for the 12U National Team in 2018. Competing with Power Baseball this week in Cary, Pfau has taken what he learned about being the ultimate teammate and turned them into meaningful life lessons.

The middle infielder learned the value in being a team player during the 12U National Team’s trip to Mexico for the COPABE U-12 Pan American Championships in 2018, where the U.S. earned a gold medal.

“You’ve got to regulate your emotions,” Pfau said. “You have to always be picking up your teammates and being a great guy to your friends and even the other team. Showing respect to the umpires and other coaches is a big part of the way we play at USA Baseball.”

The USA Baseball way is instilled in players as soon as they take the field with the stars and stripes across their chest. From the moment they’re selected to wear the uniform, players are constantly learning key lessons about important values in the game of baseball.

For 2019 14U NTDP participant Ty Southisene, the key value that has stuck with him is respect.

“USA Baseball taught me a lot about respect,” said Southisene, who is in Cary with USA Prime National. “It’s about respecting the game and caring about each other. That’s what they instilled in me in 2019 and it’s still with me now.”

The 16U National Team Championships have now moved into seeded play and will crown a champion on Saturday. While the competing Team USA alums are now locked in on winning a gold medal and playing well in front of the USA Baseball Task Force, they take the field each time with Team USA both in their minds and in their hearts.

“The USA Baseball way is our way of life,” Pfau said. “It’s the way we play baseball and the way we treat people.”

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Duke Ekstrom Aims to Repeat History with San Diego Show Black at Champs Arizona

June 21, 2022
Duke Ekstrom is no stranger to a week away from home. In Point Loma, California, Ekstrom’s father owns a sport boat that he takes visitors and locals on for week-long trips throughout the year. While a pitcher on the field he’s a utility worker on the boat, filling in for

Duke Ekstrom is no stranger to a week away from home.

In Point Loma, California, Ekstrom’s father owns a sport boat that he takes visitors and locals on for week-long trips throughout the year. While a pitcher on the field he’s a utility worker on the boat, filling in for anyone who can’t make it or needs some help on the waters.

With the 17U National Team Championships Arizona beginning this week, Ekstrom sees his role on the San Diego Show in a similar capacity to that of his work on the boat. Do his part on the mound and support his teammates any way he can.

The majority of Ekstrom’s team has played together since they were 12 years old, aside from a handful of new players who joined this season. While he knows the kind of attention he commands at games, he hopes for his teammates to get looks this weekend and have a good time doing it.

“The commitment thing means nothing to me when I’m on a baseball field and with my team,” Ekstrom said. “I am just a small part of this team, and we all treat each other same way, committed or not. Our goal as team is to win a championship.”

Although committed to Vanderbilt for his play within the chalked lines, he is committed to hard work, respect, and his family off it. It’s something he exemplifies through his work in the community and willingness to go the extra mile for all those in his family.

His sister plays beach volleyball at Stanford and is a person that Ekstrom always looked up to when he was younger. She’s been around his whole life before going to college, and they grew closer together over their passion for sports.

“She’s a hard worker so seeing her and all the accomplishments at Stanford is definitely inspiring to me,” Ekstrom said. “But I’m the younger brother and I always want to do better than her and she pushes me to do that.”

Playing for your home country on a national team is certainly a start.

Ekstrom is no stranger to gold within the USA Baseball landscape, as he is a former 13U/14U ADP participant and competed for Team USA on the 15U National Team in 2019.

Oddly enough, it was a consolation game that got Ekstrom noticed on the second-to-last day of the 2018 National Team Championships Arizona. He wore that never say die attitude on his sleeve when he threw 4.0 frames and struck out seven with nothing to play for besides pride.

Eckstrom spent the year at the 14U ADP and impressed the task force enough to represent Team USA on the 15U National Team the following year.

He was phenomenal for the stars and stripes in 2019, throwing 9.1 innings at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-15 Baseball World Cup Americas Qualifier. Ekstrom surrendered just two runs and struck out 11 en route to a gold medal in Mexico.

Ekstrom was the game one starter against Brazil in the tournament, throwing five innings of shutout baseball with as many strikeouts. On top of that, he pitched the final out to win the Americas Qualifier and can still recall the moment at the bottom of the dogpile on the mound.

“Our coach Troy Cameron said it was the best dogpile he’s ever seen since no one fell off,” Ekstrom said. “That was a super joyful moment, and that team is family. We all still talk to each other, and dream of doing it again

Flash forward to three years later, and the decorated pitcher is committed to play college ball for the powerhouse Commodores. Standing at 6-foot-2, Ekstrom can touch up to 90 mph on the fastball, with a handful of solid off-speed pitches to spin off it.

“I feel in control when I’m on the mound and it helps me command the game at my pace and my level,” Ekstrom said. “Pitching is just as much on the mental side as it is physical, and that’s something I always try and remind myself.”

Ekstrom made his first appearance at the National Team Championships Arizona on Tuesday, tossing 3.0 innings of shutout baseball and striking out three. He guided San Diego Show Black to a 9-0 victory over Canes Arizona 2023 to move them to 2-0 in pool play.

As the National Team Championships Arizona move forward, his main goal is to give his teammates the feeling he had of winning gold in Mexico three years ago. It’s a moment he, his family, and his teammates will never forget for the rest of their lives.

“I hope that our team can have the same experience that we did in Cancun with the dogpile at the end of the day,” Ekstrom said. “That’s all I really want for me and my teammates.”

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Giacalone, Nichol Receive Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 21 at Champs AZ

June 21, 2022
Phoenix – Frankie Giacalone went a perfect 4-for-4 and drove home six runs in his two games for CBA Victus San Diego to secure Player of the Day Honors on day two of pool play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona. Giacalone reached base successfully in all five of

Phoenix – Frankie Giacalone went a perfect 4-for-4 and drove home six runs in his two games for CBA Victus San Diego to secure Player of the Day Honors on day two of pool play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona.

Giacalone reached base successfully in all five of his plate appearances on the afternoon. He tripled twice against the Colorado Gold and drove in five runs to lead his team to a 17-7 victory. Through three games he has reached base in seven of eight plate appearances and tallied nine runs batted in.

CBA Victus San Diego (3-0) awaits its matchup for seeded play on Wednesday morning.

Wyatt Nichol (Whitecaps Baseball Academy) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after a 6.2-inning effort on the mound against OC Premier Navy in the second day of pool play.

Nichol had to exit the game due to pitch count before the final out, notching nine strikeouts while allowing just four hits. He threw 109 pitches to get the job done and got ahead of 17 of the 27 batters he faced on the afternoon.

The righty guided Whitecaps Baseball Academy (3-0) to an easy 3-0 victory in their game on Tuesday.

Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)

Tyler Howard (Team California Black) – 6-for-7, 2 2B, 2 3B, 4 RBI, 4 R

Matthew Radogna (BPA Black) – 4-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Jordan Otjen (San Diego Show Black) – 2-for-4, HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, BB

Blake Wilson (TB SoCal EVO) – 2-for-5, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R, HBP

Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day)

Evan Williams (Brushback Baseball Club Scout) – W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 K, BB

Oscar Hernandez (3D Gold) – W, 5.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB

Coleton Dahl (Team California Black) – W, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 7 K, BB

Nathan Huy (GBG Renegades) – W, 4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 8 K, BB

Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.

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13U National Team Championships NC All-Tournament Team Announced

Gold medal-winning Stacked Baseball led with three all-tournament selections
June 21, 2022
CARY, N.C. – The 13U 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

CARY, N.C. – The 13U 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 Stacked Baseball.

Luke Armijo – Team Elite

Luke Armijo made two relief appearances for Team Elite dealing 6.2 hitless innings with 10 strikeouts.

Brant Bivens – FL Dodgers Scout Team

Brant Bivens led FL Dodgers Scout Team with six hits and two RBIs while flashing his speed on the base paths swiping three bags.

Jael Castillo – Canes National

Jael Castillo batted .857 with a team-best six hits and four runs batted in for Canes National.

Lucas Farrar – Kangaroo Court American

Lucas Farrar was dominant in his quarterfinal start against Dulins Dodgers Prime delivering a complete-game shutout in 5.0 innings pitched with seven strikeouts.

Will Hayes – Team Elite

Will Hayes delivered a win for Team Elite in his start against Top Tier Select tossing 5.1 shutout innings with nine strikeouts and only one hit allowed.

Lash Henderson – USA Prime National

Lash Henderson hit .571 (8-for-14) for USA Prime National and collected two extra-base hits while stealing two bases.

John Hucko – SBA Marucci

John Hucko led SBA Marucci with eight hits, four RBIs on his way to a .444/.524/.500 slash line to earn the silver medal.

Tristan Lange – Dirtbags

In his start against 5 Star National, Tristan Lange led Dirtbags to the win providing 6.1 shutout innings with five strikeouts and yielding four hits.

Joseph Newell – SBA Marucci

Joseph Newell excelling in his start for SBA Marucci with a no-hit complete-game shutout going 6.0 innings with eight strikeout against East Coast Sox.

Jose Partida – Stacked Baseball

Jose Partida appeared to pitch in three games for Stacked Baseball tying him for the tournament-best eight innings striking out nine with a 1.75 earned run average.

Kyle Plasman – Stacked Baseball

Kyle Plasman helped Stack Baseball win gold by hitting .450 (9-20) with three extra-base hits and six RBIs.

Joshua Priest – Stacked Baseball

Joshua Priest was the hottest hitter for Stacked Baseball leading the tournament with 12 hits, seven RBIs, and one home run.

Ervey Quijada Ceballos – Prime 27:17 Midwest

Ervey Quijada Ceballos was a workhouse for Prime 27:17 Mdiwest in his start against Kangaroo Court American going the distance with a 7.0 complete-game with three strikeouts.

Hudson Sapp – Kangaroo Court American

Hudson Sapp concluded with a team-best .545 batting average and five RBIs while walking six times for the bronze medalist Kangaroo Court American.

Blake Secrest – USA Prime National

Blake Secrest tossed 5.0 innings in his start for USA Prime National against DreamChasers Academy striking out eight batters and allowing one unearned run.

Hayden Talmage – SBA Marucci

Hayden Talmage slashed .467/.556/.467 contributing seven hits and three runs scored for the silver medal-winning SBA Marucci.

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Casado, Garcia Named Player, Pitcher of the Day Honors for June 20 at Champs AZ

June 20, 2022
Phoenix – Cameron Casado tallied three extra-base hits and drove in seven runs in his two games for GBG Navy 2023 to secure Player of the Day Honors in pool play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona. Casado went a perfect 4-for-4 in the first game against the California

Phoenix – Cameron Casado tallied three extra-base hits and drove in seven runs in his two games for GBG Navy 2023 to secure Player of the Day Honors in pool play at the 17U National Team Championships Arizona. 

Casado went a perfect 4-for-4 in the first game against the California Bucs with a pair of doubles and four runs batted in. He followed that up with two hits in the next game, including a two-run triple in the first inning against Sticks Southwest CV 2023.

GBG Navy 2023 (2-0) will meet the Long Beach Bears (2-0) in its last pool play game, Tuesday morning at 9:45 a.m.

Adrian Garcia (Alpha SoCal 2023) earned Pitcher of the Day honors after a complete-game shutout on the mound against the CBA Warhawks in the first round of pool play.

Garcia hurled 7.0 innings of three-hit baseball with a tournament-high 12 strikeouts to just one walk in his first outing of the tournament. He got ahead of 15 of the 24 batters he faced on the afternoon and only let two runners reach scoring position.

The right-hander guided Alpha SoCal (1-0) to a narrow 1-0 victory in their game on Monday.

Honorable Mentions (Player of the Day)

Jacob French (Diablo Valley Baseball Club) – 3-for-6, 2 2B, 3B, 4 RBI, 2 R

Nolan Ganter (Marucci Athletics 2023) – 3-for-3, 2B, 4 RBI

Noel Alijah Ramos (CCB Prime) - 3-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI, R, BB

James Achen (Arizona Select Upperclass) – 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, R

Honorable Mentions (Pitcher of the Day) 

Jace Gillmore, Noah Madsen, and Gabe Lauricella (Alpha Power 2023): combined no-hitter – W, 7.0 IP, CG, 0 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 2 BB

Jacob Anderson (Juggernaut Baseball Texas) – W, 5.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 10 K, 2 BB

Joshua Butler (Marucci Athletics 2023) – W, 6.0 IP, 2 H, ER, 9 K, 3 BB

Jaden Clifford (Chico Aces 2023) – W, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 K, BB

Follow @USABChamps_AZ on Twitter for the most up-to-date news about the 2022 National Team Championships Arizona.

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Stacked Baseball Storms Past SBA Marucci to Claim 13U Champs NC Gold

Five-run fifth propels Stacked to first-ever 13U Champs NC gold
June 20, 2022
CARY, N.C. – Stacked Baseball used a five-run fifth inning to pull away from SBA Marucci and win gold with a 10-2 victory at the 13U National Team Championships North Carolina on Monday in Cary, North Carolina. After scoring quickly in the top of the first on an inside-the-park homer

CARY, N.C. – Stacked Baseball used a five-run fifth inning to pull away from SBA Marucci and win gold with a 10-2 victory at the 13U National Team Championships North Carolina on Monday in Cary, North Carolina.

After scoring quickly in the top of the first on an inside-the-park homer by Joshua Priest, Stacked rallied for five runs in the top of the fifth to break the game open. Priest was in the middle of the run-scoring again, leading off the inning with a single and scoring later in the inning. Jose Partida, Ayden Coleman, Carson Sulsona, and Tanner Brown all had RBI hits in the inning for Stacked, which grew its lead to 8-1 in the frame.

Nine different players had at least one hit for Stacked, including Partida’s three-hit effort. Coleman paced the offense with three RBIs, while Priest added two hits and a pair of RBIs. John Hucko had three hits and an RBI to lead SBA’s offensive attack.

Aidan Kent hurled 5.2 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits to earn the win for Stacked. Nolan Riesenberg got the final out, entering in the sixth and coaxing a fly out to lock it down for Stacked. Witt McCammon surrendered the loss for SBA, allowing two earned runs in 2.2 innings on the mound.

Game Highlights

  • After Tanner Brown walked to open the top of the first, Priest socked an inside-the-park homer to right-center field to give Stacked an immediate 2-0 lead.
  • Justin Iannetto and Hucko both singled in SBA Marucci’s half of the first, but Kent escaped the jam to keep Stacked in front by two.
  • Stacked manufactured a run in the top of the third on a double steal. Coleman scored from third in a rundown, giving Stacked a 3-0 edge.
  • SBA cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Hayden Talmage, trimming the deficit to two. Kent then coaxed an inning-ending double play for Stacked to escape the inning without any further damage.
  • Stacked began to pull way in the top of the fifth, plating five runs to take a seven-run lead. Priest started the rally with a leadoff single and came around to score on an RBI single by Partida, before Coleman drove in two runs on a single to make it a five-run advantage.
  • Sulsona’s double to plate Coleman made it 7-1, and Brown capped the rally with an RBI single to give Stacked an 8-1 advantage.
  • In the top of the sixth, Coleman grounded out to plate a run and Michael Flink added an RBI single as Stacked’s lead to grew 10-1.
  • Hucko hit an infield single to shortstop to score a run in SBA’s final at-bats, making it a 10-2 final score in favor of Stacked.

Notable Information

  • With the win, Stacked becomes the first-ever winners of the 13U National Team Championships North Carolina.
  • The gold medal is Stacked’s first medal at the National Team Championships North Carolina in program history.
  • Priest finished the tournament with a .522 (12-23) average, hitting a double, triple, and home run while driving in seven runs for Stacked.
  • Partida and Kyle Plasman combined for 11 RBIs in the tournament to help pace the Stacked offense to a gold medal.
  • Brown scored eight runs throughout the tournament, also drawing eight walks for Stacked.
  • In the gold medal run, Stacked’s pitching staff combined for a 1.93 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
  • Hucko, who hit a walk-off single in the semifinal round, led SBA’s offense in the tournament with a .444 (8-18) average and four RBIs.
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SBA Marucci to Face Off With Stacked Baseball in Inaugural 13U National Team Championships North Carolina

The two teams will hope to become the first gold medalist in the 13U age group
June 20, 2022
Cary, N.C. – SBA Marucci and Stacked Baseball secured their spots into the 13U National Team Championship gold medal match after victories in their semifinal matches on Monday afternoon. Stacked Baseball 6, Dirtbags 2 Stacked Baseball jumped on the scoreboard early with a pair of runs. The squad plated its

Cary, N.C. – SBA Marucci and Stacked Baseball secured their spots into the 13U National Team Championship gold medal match after victories in their semifinal matches on Monday afternoon.

Stacked Baseball 6, Dirtbags 2

Stacked Baseball jumped on the scoreboard early with a pair of runs. The squad plated its first run thanks to an RBI single by Andrew Jimenez in the top of the first and tacked on its second run of the frame via a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded.

Kyle Plasman notched his first extra-base hit of the contest in the third, ripping a triple, and Jose Partida brought him home on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Dirtbags kept battling and scored in consecutive innings in the fifth and sixth to cut its deficit to one. Carter Beck stepped up with the bases juiced and was hit by a pitch to get his team on the baord. Hayden Walker worked a walk to open the sixth and Anthony Zezza drove him in from second on an RBI single to make it 3-2.

Stacked Baseball was not satisfied with the one-run advantage in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles gave the team life, and they pressured the Dirtbags defense by attempting a double steal to get into scoring position. The throw down to third sailed into left field and allowed Nolan Riesenberg to score to give Stacked Baseball a 4-2 lead. After a Jimenez walk, Plasman stepped up to the plate and blasted a 2-RBI double deep to right field to provide insurance. Plasman had a game-high two runs batted in and two extra-base hits in the win.

Jose Partida started the game and was extremely efficient for Stacked Baseball, dealing four shutout innings and yielding only two hits. Joshua Priest picked up the save, delivering three innings and kept the Dirtbags offense at bay. Vince Coker was handed the loss after walking three in the first inning and giving up two runs in 0.2 innings pitched.

Game Highlights

  • Jimenez picked up the first hit for Stacked Baseball on a RBI single in the top of the first, scoring Tanner Brown. Stacked Baseball worked three walks in the inning in addition to an RBI hit by pitch for a 2-0 lead.
  • Dirtbags got their first runner in scoring position thanks to Caleb Lynn collecting the team’s first hit of the game and advanced to second on a walk by Noah Price.
  • Plasman sent a triple to right field in the third and came home on a sacrifice fly by Partida, pushing the lead to 3-0.
  • With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Beck wore a pitch to give Dirtbags their first run of the contest.
  • In the sixth a leadoff walk by Hayden Walker and a groundout put him on third, giving Zezza a chance to add a run with a runner in scoring position by lacing an RBI single for a 3-2 deficit.
  • Zezza stole second with no one covering the base, but the catcher’s throw sailed into center field. Zezza attempted to advance to third on the throwing error, but Partida threw him out.

Notable Information

  • Dirtbags came into the matchup averaging 6.5 runs a game, but Stacked Baseball’s pitching held them to just two runs.
  • Dirtbags stole five bags in the game compared to Stacked Baseball’s two.
  • Partida threw 72% strikes and needed just 43 pitches to get through four innings.
  • Head Coach Drew Madrigal on the win: “It’s really good for these guys. It’s been a long, dragged-out weekend. These guys got marks and banged up bodies. I’m proud of them.”

SBA Marucci 8, Kangaroo Court American 7

A back-and-forth affair, SBA Marucci struck first in the bottom of the second on back-to-back RBI singles. Kangaroo Court answered in the top of the third with three runs of their own to take its first lead of the game. SBA Marucci was held scoreless in the bottom of the third and Kangaroo Court pushed another run across.

SBA Marucci broke out with another multi-run effort in the bottom of the fourth, plating four to extend the lead. Kangaroo Court added a run to the scoreboard for the third consecutive inning in the fifth, inching back closer to SBA Marucci.

With zeros being exchanged in the sixth, Kangaroo Court American entered the seventh down by one. They refused to go down without a fight and rallied for two runs, grabbing the lead from SBA Marucci. SBA readied themselves in the dugout to retaliate. Retaliate they did. An error and hit-by-pitch followed by another error loaded the bases. SBA drew a walk to tie the ball game., and then John Hucko stepped up to the plate with ice in his veins as he laced a single on the first pitch he saw to send his team to the gold medal match on a walk-off thriller.

Witt McCammon picked up the win in relief, shutting down the Kangaroo Court American bats with 0.2 innings and one strikeout. Hudson Sapp suffered the loss, despite allowing zero earned runs in 2.2 innings of relief.

Game Highlights

  • Huck and Joseph Newell tallied consecutive RBI singles in the bottom of the second inning for a 2-0 lead.
  • Hudson Sapp provided the first of three runs in the top of the third for Kangaroo Court American on an RBI double. Aidan Kearney followed that with an RBI groundout and then Alex Gomez singled to score Sapp for a 3-2 advantage.
  • Kangaroo Court American made it 4-2 in the top of the fourth as Alan Zimmerman delivered another run on the Sapp walk with the bases loaded.
  • SBA Marucci jumped on starter Wilson Shaw for four runs in the bottom of the fourth. After two walks put runners on base, Jaxon Haynes began the scoring with an RBI single followed by Newell’s RBI single. The inning was capped off with Haynes scoring on a wild pitch and Griffin McKain’s sacrifice fly for a temporary 6-4 lead.
  • Ashton Cox trimmed the deficit to 6-5 for Kangaroo Court American on a bases loaded walk in the top of the fifth.
  • Despite a strikeout to lead off the seventh, Kangaroo Court American recorded two consecutive singles before Zimmerman tied the game on an RBI single. The team would coordinate a double steal attempt to go up 7-6 with Leo Reina crossing the plate.
  • Two errors and a hit-by-pitch would load the bases for Eli Webb before McCammon scored on the at-bat, tying the game 7-7 and Webb drew a walk to reload the bases.
  • Hucko took the first pitch to center field for a base hit to end the game in walk-off fashion for SBA Marucci.

Notable Information

  • Hucko (2-for-4) and Newell (2-for-3) delivered multi-hit efforts in the win for SBA Marucci.
  • Gomez (2-for-4) and Sapp (2-for-3) paced the Kangaroo Court American offensively.
  • Hudson Sapp threw 11 first pitch strikes to the 14 batters he faced.
  • Both teams collected more walks than strikeouts.
  • Kangaroo Court American out-hit SBA Marucci 9-8.
  • Head Coach Collin Thacker on the win: “This group of boys has a character unlike any group I’ve ever seen. It’s a true joy to watch them on the field and off. I think that’s what makes the difference is they love each other as much off the field than they do on.”
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CBA Marucci Ready to Rewrite History at 17U National Team Championships Arizona

June 19, 2022
Phoenix - CBA Marucci has been a well-known name in the National Team Championships Arizona for the past seven years. Two championships highlight a program built on the foundation of culture and resilience during the grueling week-long tournament. The program only takes one “Marucci” team to the 17U age group

Phoenix - CBA Marucci has been a well-known name in the National Team Championships Arizona for the past seven years. Two championships highlight a program built on the foundation of culture and resilience during the grueling week-long tournament.

The program only takes one “Marucci” team to the 17U age group for the Arizona Team Championships, but it’s one that has enjoyed success in bunches at the event. However, the past three seasons CBA Marucci has finished as the runners-up in the 17U division, coming closer and closer each year.

In 2021, they narrowly fell to the eventual champions Team Utah, 5-3, after late-inning heroics boosted Utah to the gold medal. The two years before that they were beaten by “better teams”, as head coach Jon Paino put it.

“I think this year it’s going to be about taking advantage of opportunities within the game, taking the extra base, and making the routine plays,” Paino said. “This team is close, and they’ve played together for some time so that’ll help us down the stretch of this tournament.”

The team boasts 17 college-committed athletes playing for the likes of Tennessee, LSU, and UCLA. However, one thing Paino said he’ll never do is over roster his team for the tournament no matter how much prospective talent is out there in California.

CBA Marucci has been the home of many current MLB players, including Nick Madrigal who competed in the National Team Championships Arizona in 2015. It’s a team that gets looks nationwide each year, and has brought a squad to the National Team Championships Arizona every year since the tournament’s formation in 2012

Along with the National Team Championships being one of the biggest and closest tournaments for CBA Marucci, Paino believes there’s more to take away from the tournament. It’s one of the reasons he continues to make the five-hour trip to Phoenix with a team ready to compete for hardware.

“Every kid growing up wants to be a part of USA Baseball so providing that opportunity for our kids is really something special,” Paino said. “With the increase of social media, what USA Baseball does is more visible than ever and we feel it’s our job to provide them that opportunity.”

Now with six days between the beginning of the tournament and the gold-medal game, Paino hopes to reverse history and leave the desert with his first gold medal since 2016. He knows what it takes, his players know what it’s going to take, and they’re ready to compete for the name on the front of the jersey.

“We’re excited more than anything to get out there and compete again after coming up a little short last year,” Paino said. This is a team that I know can get it done and now it’s time for us to prove it on the field.”

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