Tournaments | Story | 6/25/2019

Icemen dominate WWBA Midwest

Annika Wall        
Photo: MN Icemen 15u Sutterer (Perfect Game)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A lot of pieces needed to fall in place for the MN Icemen to come away with the inaugural WWBA 15u Prospect Meadows National Championship. But 62 hits, 50 runs, 39 forced strikeouts and one lone error added up to the tournament title for head coach Ryan Sutterer’s team as they defeated Elite Baseball Training 2022 - Wilson 9-4 in the championship game.

“I couldn’t be any more happy for this group of guys,” Sutterer said. “I’ve been with them for a long time and to see them finally grow and bust out of their shells. We’ve been really competitive the last two years but see them finally put it all together. I mean, they played pretty flawless all weekend, you couldn’t ask for anything more as a coach. They gelled really well, put together unbelievable at bats and had phenomenal pitching.”

The Icemen entered tournament play as the No. 2 seed, facing Cangelosi Sparks White in a rematch of pool play. The Icemen outscored the Sparks again to the tune of 9-1. Tournament MVP Ethan Loss  led the offensive effort by going a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate. Loss drove in four runs and scored three of his own.

“There’s really good competition and we faced really good pitchers here, so it felt good to get some hits,” Loss said. “Playing with a good group of guys has helped me play at a higher level.”

With the victory, the Icemen waited to learn who they’d be facing in a bid for the title. Elite Baseball Training pulled off the upset of the tournament by defeating Sticks Baseball Academy 3-1. MV-Pitcher Brandon Bak pitched a beaut, incorporating curveballs and fastballs to strike out eight batters.

When it came the championship game, the Icemen faced a unique challenge: being down. The Blaine, Minn.-based team hadn’t had to fight back all weekend until Elite jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. It didn’t take long, though, as Aaron Smith started off the bottom of the third with a single. Kyle Law plopped a single into shallow centerfield and Loss followed his lead, driving in one of his seven tournament RBIs. 

Joey Powers drove in two more on another center field hit to give the Icemen a 5-2 lead that they would only extend as the game progressed.

“They were really amped up going into the game, so we might have had a bit more nerves,” Sutterer said about the team’s fighting spirit. “I told them to focus more on right-center and adjust. Once we got down two, it was like ‘holy crap we haven’t been down all weekend.’ They went with it, got back to their team approach and focused up.”

The Icemen added on single runs in the fourth and sixth, along with a pair in the fifth. Elite scored lone runs in the fourth and fifth, bringing the final score to 9-4. Sutterer’s team had a whopping 17 hits in six innings compared to nine by Elite. Powers led the Icemen individually with three hits, including a triple, and a trio of RBIs.

“This win is a culmination of a lot of work in the past year,” Sutterer said. “We don’t go as crazy with club ball as other teams. We don’t have them year round, so to be able to use our time wisely when we are with them and build them up like this. That’s what it took to see them get to this point.”

MN Icemen finished the tournament with a record of 6-0-1, outscoring their opponents 50 to 10. 

2019 PG WWBA 15U Prospect Meadows National Championship Finalist: Elite Baseball Training 2022 - Wilson

2019 PG WWBA 15U Prospect Meadows National Championship MVP: Ethan Loss

2019 PG WWBA 15U Prospect Meadows National Championship MVPitcher: Brandon Bak
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