From Ripken Baseball:
The 15th annual Cal Ripken World Series (CRWS) will host the World Championship game on Saturday, August 16 at the Ripken Experience powered by Under Armour complex in Aberdeen, Md. The CRWS is where the world comes to play, the Ripken Way, and is the culminating tournament of the Babe Ruth League’s 12u Cal Ripken Division.
Today, Southeast (West Raleigh, NC) defeated Harford County, 7 to 5, and will move onto the World Championship tomorrow evening. The game today started out strong for Harford County – With Phil Winfield on second and Colton Knoble on first, Bobby Duffy sent a bomb to center field for a ground rule double to bring Winfield home and give Harford County a 1-0 lead. However, Southeast’s Nolan McLean was able to respond with a double and brought Matt Willadsen home from second base after Willadsen doubled in the bottom of the first inning, the score tied 1-1.
After a scoreless second inning, Harford County’s Phil Winfield was first up at bat in the top of the third, and sent a homerun soaring over the playground in left field to give Harford County a 2-1 lead. With the bats hot for Harford County, Tyler Leach smacked a two-run home run to give the boys in orange a 4-1 lead.
Southeast’s Koen Moreno started things off in the bottom of the third with a leadoff double down the left field line and then traded places with Garrett McCraw just a few pitches later to make the score 4-2. After a fly out to right field with McCraw tagging up and advancing to third, Penn Sealey ripped a single down the third base line off the outstretched glove of Harford County’s third baseman that brought in McCraw and made it a one run game. A few batters later, Paul Rider stepped up with men on first and second with two outs. He jumped on a fastball and was able to put it over the fence in left field, connecting for a three run homerun and gave West Raleigh a 6-4 lead entering the 4th inning.
Harford County had runners on first and second with only one out to begin the 4th inning, but once again Southeast’s great defense was able to hold the host team to a scoreless inning. Harford County would do the same to Southeast, and the score remained 6-4.
Leading off the top of the fifth, Harford County’s Knoble snuck a liner between the third baseman and the foul line to single and later return home off three wild pitches. Leach showed mental and physical toughness after surviving a fastball to the helmet that would land him at second base. The bats were making good contact in the inning, but it was not enough, as Harford County trailed 6-5 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Matt Willadsen was able to work a leadoff walk to get things started for Southeast in the fifth. Penn Sealey grounded into a fielder’s choice at third which then set up a man on second with one out. Cleanup hitter Nolan McLean worked a walk which was followed by a single up the middle by Jake DeFranco. Paul Rider stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and only one man out. He was able to get an infield single and drive in a run for Southeast, extending their lead to 7-5. Then, after back to back groundouts, the score would remain 7-5 entering the final inning of play.
With Harford County’s last chance to come back, McIlhenney was walked and Winfield hit by a pitch to leave two on. Wright would take the plate and ground into a double play to end the game, crowning Southeast the U.S. Champions with a final score of 7 to 5.
Southeast will play the winner of the International Championship matchup between undefeated and 3x CRWS World Champion, Japan v. Mexico, set for 8:00pm tonight. The World Championship game on August 16 will be televised live on CBS Sports Network at 8:00pm and includes commentary by Baseball Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken.
Prior to the World Championship game, the first annual Under Armour Ripken Futures Game will take place at 5:00 p.m. EST. The game is an elite youth baseball showcase featuring 24 of the top 12-year-old baseball players from around the country. Players were selected through a national search conducted by scouting partner, Prep Baseball Report, and will be outfitted with Under Armour uniforms. The Under Armour Ripken Futures Game will air on CBS Sports Network on Sunday, August 17 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Giant Food, sponsor of Team Maryland, will host a “Get Out and Play” Clinic on Saturday, August 16 at 12:00 p.m. on Cal Sr.’s Yard for 200 pre-registered youth. The clinic will encourage children to have fun, while being active and learning critical life lessons. There will be four instructional baseball stations, as well as educational programming focused on healthy eating habits and maintaining a balanced diet.
For scores, highlights and a behind the scenes look into all CRWS action, fans can follow its official social media pages including Twitter and Instagram (@CRWSAberdeen), and at Facebook.com/CRWSAberdeen. For complete information on the tournament, visit www.ripkenbaseball.com/world_series.
The Cal Ripken World Series is where the world comes to play, the Ripken Way, and is the culminating tournament of the Babe Ruth League’s 12u Cal Ripken Division. The World Series unites the 10 best teams from across the United States and 8 international teams, including newly added competition from New Zealand and Puerto Rico. Team Japan will return as the three-time defending CRWS Champions.