Tournaments | Championship | 7/1/2020

GRB Rays Take Home 14U Midwest Title

Nate Schweers        
Photo: GRB Rays Green (Perfect Game)
MARION, Iowa - The GRB Rays Green took home the championship at the 14U Midwest World Series on Monday, out dueling Little Caesar’s Baseball in an instant classic by a score of 2-1. After pitching and defense dominated much of the game, Anderson Hayes played hero to secure the walk-off win.

Still tied in the bottom of the seventh, Hayes led off the final frame with a single into right field. After a Chase Hansen walk and a Max Jones fly out, Hayes found himself standing at third just 90 feet away from glory. On the first pitch to Rays hitter Wes Lindee, Hayes took off for home, escaping a tag and sliding head first into a victory. 

The Rays’ victory marks their second championship in three weeks at Prospect Meadows, and head coach Ethan Landon counted be prouder of his guys. 

“You know we had to play three really long games today against three really good teams,” said Landon. “We got three great starts, timely hitting when we needed it, and some fireworks at the end. It was a lot of fun, and I’m just really proud of our guys.” 

In just four days of action, GRB went 6-1, winning the final three games of the tournament during Monday’s playoff action. While seven games in four days can be a daunting task, Landon’s group was able to stay focused throughout and pull off the championship.

“Keeping them locked in was pretty easy. We came out and from pitch one today we kept the same message, ‘lets stay on pitch one at a time’. This is just a testament to these guys doing things the right way.”

While there were plenty of standout performers in the event, Eason Hurd stood out for GRB and took home MV-Pitcher honors for the event. Hurd was the top performing pitcher in the event, allowing just four hits and no earned runs over seven innings of work. 

“As a team, we know that our arms are there.” said Hurd. “This weekend our arms threw well and we knew that we needed that to go. For me,  I just wanted to throw well for the team and they gave me support.”

Hurd also stood out at the plate in Marion, scoring 10 runs and collecting eight RBI for the tournament. The Green Bay native had four extra-base hits on the weekend, leading his team to the championship. 

The MVP of the Midwest World Series was Little Caesar’s cleanup hitter Oliver Service. Service had nine hits on the weekend, driving three doubles, two triples, and collecting seven RBI. The Detroit native was lights out defensively, showcasing plenty of development and improvement in his PG career. 
This Rays group will continue to make their name known in Eastern Iowa, and Monday’s victory only cemented them among the Midwest’s elite at the 14U level. 
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