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Tournaments | Story | 1/18/2022

MLK Titles Earned Across The Country

Blake Dowson     
Photo: Elite Squad (Perfect Game)
East MLK Championship - Fort Myers, Fla.

14u: After grabbing the last spot in the playoff bracket as the No. 8 seed in the 14u division of the East MLK Championship, Elite Squad clamped down on the mound on its way to a title in the event.
Braden Aguila did the heavy lifting on the mound in the first round for Elite Squad, tossing five innings of shutout ball in what eventually was a 4-0 victory over Hit Dogs Scout. A 2-1 win in the semifinal was led by Robert Kerns on the bump, throwing all four innings while allowing just three hits and striking out five. In the title game against Rawlings Tigers National Team, Miguel Delgado got the ball to start, throwing four innings of one-run ball while striking out five.
The scoring in the championship matchup got started in the top of the third, with Isaiah Del Valle singling to lead off the inning and Dante Hernandez doubling him home three pitches later. Hernandez would later steal third and score on a passed ball to push the lead to 2-0. The two teams traded runs for the next three innings, with the tally standing at 3-2 heading into the seventh inning. Kerns singled for Elite Squad in the inning, stole second base, and scored off a Del Valle single to push the lead to 4-2.
Rawlings Tigers National Team struck back in the bottom of the seventh, however, with an Aidan Smith single tying the game at 4-4 after Joey Levis singled and scored earlier in the inning.
Elite Squad kept its foot on the gas in extras, and produced a two-out rally that scored two more runs off the bat of Adrian Bermudez, which turned into the game-winning knock. The final score ended at 6-4 in favor of Elite Squad.
Smith was named the MVP of the event for Rawlings Tigers National Team, as he hit .533 for the tournament, and Delgado was named MV-Pitcher.

15u: A three-spot in the fifth inning was all that was needed for Spiders National to clip Tbt Ballers National in the championship game of the 15u East MLK Championship, winning by a score of 3-1.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the fifth, Noah Kubasky and Dana Williams both reached via the walk to start the inning, and James Wimsatt singled to load the bases. A pair of passed balls and a fielder’s choice later, and Spiders National had the lead it needed to take the title.
Cray Fite and Kubasky did the work on the mound for Spiders National in the title game. Fite handled the first three innings, striking out five while giving up one run, while Kubasky threw the final two, allowing no hits and striking out three.
Fite was named MV-Pitcher for his efforts, while Cameron Uzzillia of Tbt Ballers National was the MVP.

16u: TBT Joros 2024 gave up a total of two runs over its four playoff games, and won the 16u bracket at the East MLK Championship with a 6-1 win over The Royals 2024 in the title game.
The Royals drew first blood in the title game with a run in the first inning off a Jadyn Nunez triple, but a crooked six-run third inning from TBT Joros put the game to rest.
Four players notched RBIs in the third inning, with Andrew Cutler’s three-RBI base knock splitting the game wide open.
Bryce Jackson did the work on the mound, throwing all four innings, allowing just one run on five hits with three strikeouts.
Tj Gramesty was the MVP of the tournament for TBT Joros, as he hit .364 with five runs and five RBI. James Litman was the MV-Pitcher for TBT Joros for his performance against Top Tier North Gold, as he threw 4 2/3 innings and struck out 12, not allowing a single hit.

17u: 5 Star Puerto Rico 2023 Black walked it off in the title game of the 17u East MLK Championship, winning it 3-2 off of a steal of home from Jarrette Bonet.
Florida Aces 2023 Black jumped out to a 2-0 lead through an inning and a half, but 5 Star clawed back with a run in the second inning thanks to a Fabian Torres triple and another in the fourth off a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 2-2.
Eric De Jesus did the heavy lifting on the mound for 5 Star in the championship game, tossing seven innings of two-run ball (one earned), while striking out three on just 85 pitches.
Victor Rivera hit .467 for 5 Star and scored six runs and took home the MVP award. Byron Madero was the MV-Pitcher, as he threw 7 2/3 innings across two appearances, allowing no runs and just three hits while striking out 11.

18u: NEB National earned the No. 1 seed in the 18u bracket at the East MLK Championship and lived up to that billing, as they moved through the bracket with 8-1 and 5-2 victories before beating NEB American in the title game, 2-1.
NEB National jumped on its counterpart right away in the bottom of the first inning of the championship game, with Titan Kamaka and Hunter Carns both doubling within the first five pitches of the inning, taking a 1-0 lead.
NEB American tied the game in the third when Davis Germann walked to lead off the inning and later came around to score, but NEB National answered in the bottom half with what ended up being the championship-winning run. Ryan Taylor walked to start the inning, stole second base later in the inning, advanced to third base on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch.
David Bauer, playing for NEB American, hit .600 with six runs scored and four RBI and was named MVP of the event. Justin Henschel of NEB National was the MV-Pitcher, as he turned in a five-inning performance in which he allowed just two hits and struck out seven.

West MLK Championship - Phoenix, Ariz.
15u: Artillery Baseball 2025 Scout Team outlasted New Level Baseball 15u Littleton in the title game of the West MLK Championship, winning by a final score of 6-4.
Artillery scratched across a couple in the bottom of the second inning, thanks to Ben Peterson and Cane Mehling starting the inning with a walk and hit-by-pitch, respectively. A double steal put them both into scoring position, and a pair of RBI groundouts from Ryan Walsh and Joshua Sutrina scored them.
New Level struck back with four runs of their own in the top of the third thanks to singles from Jason Marshall, Trace Pruitt, and Riley Sanoy, and a double from Brennan Aoki.
Three more runs in the bottom of the third from Artillery started off with back-to-back singles from Ryan Petras and Thomas O’Connell, and a two-RBI single from Mehling opened it up and gave Artillery the lead back at 5-4.
An RBI single from Greyson Zach in the bottom of the fifth stretched the lead to 6-4, which lasted through the final out.
Petras was named the MVP for Artillery, as he hit .600 with nine runs, eight RBI, and a home run. New Level’s Adam Jay won MV-Pitcher honors, as he tossed 10 innings across three appearances, not allowing a single earned run or walk, giving up just one hit, and striking out 13.

17u: No. 1-seeded Artillery Baseball 2023 Scout Team brought its bats to the title game of the West MLK Championship, hanging a 10-spot on PNW Elite and winning by a 10-6 final.
It was a steady barrage from Artillery with two runs in the first, one in the second, two in each of the fourth and fifth innings, and three more to stretch the lead in the sixth.
Ethan Hindle, Michael Lucarelli, Trey Swiderski, Nicolas Barela, and Ryan Geraghty all had one RBI in the game, while Marco Becerra added two. Lucarelli, hitting out of the cleanup spot, scored three runs in the game.
PNW’s Carson Ohland, a Washington commit, was named MVP of the event. Ohland scored six runs and drove in nine, while walking seven times and hitting a home run. Ohland’s teammate, Tyler Alleman, was named the MV-Pitcher, having tossed six innings over two appearances, with no earned runs and two hits against eight strikeouts.

18u: A back-and-forth contest between Baum Bat NW and MidSouth Prospects 2022s through four innings tilted toward Baum Bat in the later innings, as a 3-3 tie turned into a 6-3 victory in the title game of the West MLK Championship.
Baum Bat scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a three-RBI double from Parker Guinn, and MidSouth Prospects answered right back with three of their own in the top of the second thanks to a few walks, some situational hitting, and an RBI single from Elliott Peterson.
Thomas Ferroggiaro worked an eight-pitch walk for Baum Bat in the bottom of the fifth and later scored on a Cole Hubka single to take the lead back at 4-3, and a two-run single from Holt Williams in the bottom of the sixth moved the score to 6-3 final.
MidSouth’s Brayden Smith was named MVP after hitting .333 with three runs and four RBI, along with three stolen bases. Baum Bat’s Noble Meyer was the MV-Pitcher for his 3 2/3 inning, scoreless, hitless outing.

South MLK Championship - Tomball, Texas
16u: Hawaii Elite 2G 16u’s Zesden Tolentino and Brandon Deth combined on the mound to blank 5 Star Performance 2025 National in the title game of the South MLK Championship, with the five runs their lineup gave them proving plenty to hoist the trophy.
Tolentino manned the first five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight, while Deth worked the last two with no hits allowed and one punchout.
The Hawaii Elite lineup was led by Jace Souza out of the leadoff spot and Carmelo Fuller in the nine-hole. Both hitters had two RBI in the title game, while Fuller also scored a run. Kade Hue also scored and drove in a run in the contest.
Isaiah Chaves played his way to an MVP performance for Hawaii Elite, hitting .700 with seven runs scored and also throwing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball on the mound. 5 Star’s Landon Spears was the MV-Pitcher, as he appeared twice and threw seven innings, not allowing any earned runs and striking out nine while only allowing two hits and two walks.

18u: USA Prime 2022 National outscored its three opponents by a combined 17 runs in its playoff run, none bigger than the 15-4 win against Premier Isenhower in the title game of the South MLK Championship.
Carson Queck, Jalin Flores, Cade Climie, Wilburn Furniss, and Jerson Martin all turned in a multi-RBI game for USA Prime. Steven Milam, Benjamin Merriman and Queck each scored three runs, while Queck and Climie paced the team with three hits apiece.
Premier Isenhower’s Sam Myers, a TCU commit, hit .750 with seven runs scored, four RBI, and six stolen bases during the event, and was named MVP. Myers was 2-for-3 in the championship game with a run scored as well. USA Prime’s Reid Bowyer produced two scoreless outings, totaling five innings and striking out five while only giving up two hits, and earned MV-Pitcher honors.

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