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Tournaments | Championship | 7/15/2019

29ers rally for championship

Annika Wall        
Photo: 29ers Baseball ’21 Black (Perfect Game)

MARION, Iowa – Two games in a row, the Illinois-based 29ers Baseball ’21 Black found themselves down in the seventh inning. And two games in a row, timely hitting gave them a one-run advantage and the title of PG 17u Midwest Invitational Champions against Cangelosi Sparks 15u Black.

“I think it had to do a lot with last weekend,” head coach Nathan Gray said of their undefeated weekend. “Coming out and not playing our greatest last weekend, our guys were really hungry and I think it showed. I think we were ready to go and we were determined.”

Cangelosi started off the championship game with a bang as the 29ers got the first two outs with ease. After two walks, though, Jimmy Rolder scored on an error. Cangelosi continued to hold the lead until scoring two more in the top of the sixth, beginning with a Rolder RBI single. Rolder later scored again off an error before George Bilecki reached first to load the bases with a walk, but the 29ers left them stranded with a ground out to second.

The 29ers quickly loaded the bases with only one out and Carter Markham took advantage, singling to right field and driving in Zane Beebe. Ryan Radek followed with a sacrifice fly to right field before MVP Dominic Ferrari doubled to left field to score two more runs and take the lead. Cangelosi added one in the seventh to force extra innings but were unable to score, while Radek added his second triple of the tournament.

Cangelosi was forced to intentionally walk Ferrari and Zach Carpita to create a force out scenario at home plate, but Patrick Mulcahey put away their homes of a championship with an RBI single to the right center gap.

“It shows a lot of growth from last year. Great teams are able to win close games like that and I think that epitomizes our year. We struggled at the beginning, but we learned how to battle. You’ve got to stay in it until the last pitch is thrown, until the last inning is over.”

In the semifinals, the 29ers struck first in the bottom of the third against Great Lakes Baseball 16u. Jacob Formenti – also the winning pitcher in the championship game – led off with a right field triple and was driven in off a Markham ground ball.

Great Lakes retaliated with patience at the plate, resulting in two walks and a single to load the bases with Will Skjold up to bat. Skjold launched a sacrifice fly into center field to score one of the team’s two runs that inning. 29ers added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but Great Lakes was ready to make the seventh their best inning yet.

Logan Grimm fired a left field double and advanced to third on a right side ground ball. Skjold and Danny Howell were walked, and Grimm scored off a wild pitch. Clayton Beaurline rocketed a fastball to deep center field, scoring two more runners to put Great Lakes up 5-3.

Markham led the charge for the 29ers, finding a fastball and converting it into a right field single. Radek forced a walk before Ferrari stepped up to the plate. With a 3-1 hitters count, Ferrari knew what he was looking for.

“I was thinking to hit a ball hard to somewhere they cannot get it,” he said.

He did just that with a walkoff home run over the left field fence, sending the 29ers into the championship game with a 6-5 victory.  

“He stepped up today,” head coach Nathan Gray said of Ferrari. “He struggled early on in the tournament and he looked like he was giving up on himself, but that’s the game of baseball. You can go 0-for-4 one game and the next, come up with the biggest hit of the tournament. That’s the name of the game and he played it.”

“It feels great, but I can’t take all the credit because the people in front of me always get on and I’m the one to hit them in,” Ferrari added. “If they wouldn’t have gotten on, it would have been nothing anyways.”

Also in semifinal action, Cangelosi Sparks 15u Black defeated the Cangelosi Sparks 17u Silver. MV-Pitcher Beau Polickey earned the win, only allowing four hits and no runs. Throughout the tournament, Polickey struck out six batters and only allowed one walk and no earned runs.


2019 PG 17u Midwest Invitational runner-up: Cangelosi Sparks 15u Black



2019 PG 17u Midwest Invitational MVP: Dominic Ferrari



2019 PG 17u Midwest Invitational MV-Pitcher: Beau Polickey




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