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Tournaments | Championship | 9/2/2019

4 crowned at Midwest Labor Day

Nate Schweers        
Photo: Hitters 2022 Navy (Perfect Game)

Millers Varsity rallies late to capture Upperclass crown

MARION, Iowa – Millers Varsity – Kirkwold captured the championship in the Upperclass Division of the Midwest Labor Day Classic on Monday, defeating Iowa Select 2020 Nordgren/Brune by a score of 4-2. Trailing early, Millers Varsity – Kirkwold scored three unanswered runs over the final five innings, claiming the victory.

Trailing 2-1 in the top of the third, Millers Varsity – Kirkwold tied the game with back-to-back triples from Nathan Culley and Mitchel Casperson, Jason Axelberg took the lead for good with an RBI groundout to second base.

The MV-Pitcher of the tournament came from the Millers squad in triple-hitting Nathan Culley. Culley tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out eight batters. Culley featured a low-80s fastball during tournament action and was able to get big outs on the mound during the championship run.

Though Culley took home MV-Pitcher honors, Millers Varsity – Kirkwold also received an excellent outing from championship game starter Josh Gullickson. Gullickson finished a complete game effort, striking out seven and allowing just the two runs.

The MVP of the Upperclass Division was Iowa Select 2020 first baseman Andrue Henry. Henry had the walk-off base knock in Iowa Select’s semifinal victory and tallied a total of eight hits and seven RBI. On the mound, Henry tossed five scoreless innings, collecting 11 strikeouts and allowing just two hits.

2019 WWBA Midwest Upperclass Labor Day Classic champions: Millers Varsity - Kirkwold

2019 WWBA Midwest Upperclass Labor Day Classic runner-up: Iowa Select 2020 Nordgren/Brune

2019 WWBA Midwest Upperclass Labor Day Classic MVP: Andrue Henry

2019 WWBA Midwest Upperclass Labor Day Classic MV-Pitcher: Nathan Culley

Momentum carries Hitters 2021 to Underclass championship

MARION, Iowa – Hitters 2021 Grads captured the championship of the Underclass division on Sunday night, racing to an 11-1 victory over Line Drive Hitting. This Hitters squad put on an impressive display throughout the entire tournament, finishing with a perfect 4-0 record.

After a back-and-forth start to the game, the Hitters 2021 Grads exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the second to jump out to a commanding 9-1 lead. The highlight of the big inning came when Joseph Ricchio drove a ball deep to left field, scoring a pair and putting the game seemingly out of reach.

The Hitters 2021 Grads cruised from there, playing exceptional defense behind a quality pitching performance from Joe Turco. Turco, who is a Top 1000 player in the 2021 class, pitched the five complete innings, allowing just the one run on four hits, while striking out two Line Drive batters.

The MVP of the Underclass division was Hitters 2021 Grads leadoff man Luke Nowak. Nowak had seven hits on the weekend, including five extra-base hits and a 3-for-4 performance in the championship game. Nowak, who is a Top 500 player in the 2021 class, had six RBI for the tournament, and added a stolen base as well.

The MV-Pitcher of the division was Mason Ruh. Ruh tossed four no-hit innings for the Hitters 2021 Grads in the opening game of the tournament, allowing just one walk and striking out six batters. A Top 1000 player in the 2021 class, Ruh was able to attack hitters with a good mix of speeds, finishing the four-inning shutout on just 59 pitches.

Following the impressive championship run, the Hitters 2021 Grads will be back in action at the 2019 WWBA Underclass World Championship in Fort Myers, Florida next month. In what will be a big test for this excellent group, this championship win makes for excellent momentum heading to such a big stage on the fall circuit.

2019 WWBA Midwest Underclass Labor Day Classic champions: Hitters 2021 Grads

2019 WWBA Midwest Underclass Labor Day Classic runner-up: Line Drive Hitting

2019 WWBA Midwest Underclass Labor Day Classic MVP: Luke Nowak

2019 WWBA Midwest Underclass Labor Day Classic MV-Pitcher: Mason Ruh

Hitters claim Sophomore title with a heavy dose of runs

MARION, Iowa – Hitters 2022 Navy finished off an impressive tournament run on Monday, claiming the championship of the Sophomore division. Hitters 2022 Navy was able to defeat Iowa Select 2022 Gutwiler 8-0 in five innings, their third run-rule victory of the weekend.

The offensively powered Hitters team scored two runs in the bottom of the second, and that was all they needed behind the performance of tournament MV-Pitcher Max Martin. Martin tossed the five shutout innings in the championship game, striking out three and allowing just two hits.

The Hitters squad also received excellent offensive production in the championship game from tournament MVP Hayden Christiansen. Christiansen was 2-for-3 in the contest, bringing his hit total to eight for the tournament. With four extra-base hits and the same number of RBI, he was a catalyst in the middle of what was an intimidating batting order.

With a repeat trip to Prospect Meadows for the 2019 WWBA Midwest Sophomore Championship scheduled in just a couple weeks, the Hitters 2022 Navy squad will look to use the momentum to repeat as champions, cementing themselves as a Midwest powerhouse.

2019 WWBA Midwest Sophomore Labor Day Classic champions: Hitters 2022 Navy

2019 WWBA Midwest Sophomore Labor Day Classic runner-up: Iowa Select 2022 Gutwiler

2019 WWBA Midwest Sophomore Labor Day Classic MVP: Hayden Christiansen

2019 WWBA Midwest Sophomore Labor Day Classic MV-Pitcher: Max Martin

Hitters unblemished on way to Freshman championship

MARION, Iowa – Hitters 2023 Grads captured the championship of the Freshman division at the inaugural WWBA Midwest Labor Day Classic, knocking off Gamers 2023 by a score of 6-2. This Hitters squad dominated the division, finishing the weekend with a perfect 5-0 record.

After a run-rule victory in the semifinals, Hitters 2023 Grads jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in just the first three innings of the championship. After taking a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third, the Hitters exploded for four runs on four hits, and it was all started with a leadoff single from tournament MVP Alex Alicea.

Alicea finished the tournament with eight hits and three RBI, and stole an eye-popping nine bases. Alicea was a staple at the top of the Hitters 2023 Grads order for the weekend and really helped to make things go during the championship run.

Though the two runs in the top of the sixth inning weren’t enough to grab a championship victory, Gamers 2023 did receive an outstanding pitching performance from tournament MV-Pitcher Tanner Schark. Schark tossed five innings in a winning effort, allowing just three hits while striking out nine batters.

2019 WWBA Midwest Freshman Labor Day Classic champions: Hitters 2023 Grads

2019 WWBA Midwest Freshman Labor Day Classic runner-up: Gamers 2023

2019 WWBA Midwest Freshman Labor Day Classic MVP: Alex Alicea

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