From Ripken Baseball:
Ripken Baseball today celebrated the start of the 16th annual Cal Ripken World Series (CRWS) at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen Powered by Under Armour complex in Aberdeen, Maryland. The CRWS is where the world comes to play, The Ripken Way, and is the culminating tournament of the elite baseball talent in the Babe Ruth League’s 12u Cal Ripken Division. The World Series unites the 10 best teams from across the United States and eight international teams from across the globe. Opening ceremonies included a skills challenge and home run derby, followed by first official game of the annual tournament as host team Harford County took on Team Mid-Atlantic (East Brandywine, Pa.).
All 18 teams kicked things off with a series of skills completions – Team Mid-Atlantic out-ran the competition in the Gold Spikes base running completion with 25.41 seconds; Republic of Korea won the Turn Two challenge with a quick 27.10 seconds; and Puerto Rico defeated Team Maryland (Charles County) in the Outfield Relay completion. Blake McCain from reigning CRWS World Champion Team Southeast (Raleigh, N.C.) hammered 21 points to take the crown as the 2015 Home Run Derby champion.
In the tournament’s opening matchup under the lights at Cal, Sr.’s Yard, Middle Atlantic jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in its 14-1 victory over host team Harford County. Lights out pitching from Middle Atlantic’s Chase Reardon combined with a complete team effort at bat allowed Middle Atlantic to pad their lead, scoring 12 runs in the fifth and sixth innings alone. Middle Atlantic’s Peter Kern received the Player of the Game award for his opening night heroics, knocking in two RBIs on three hits.
“Winning the first game is huge because it sets the tone for the team for the rest of the tournament,” said Team Middle Atlantic manager Dennis Reardon. “We came out a little flat after a long day with the skills competition, but it was great to be able to bounce back and walk away with a win.”
Games are played on the innovative fields at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen Powered by Under Armour complex, including the one-of-a-kind Cal, Sr.’s Yard, a two-thirds replica of Camden Yards. Pool play takes place from July 25 – July 29 with games played from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. All tournament games are FREE to the public. Free tickets are available online at www.ripkenbaseball.com/world_series.
New to this year’s tournament, fans around the world will have the opportunity to watch free live streams of the championship games on MLB.com. The championship games on July 31 and August 1 will also include live commentary from MLB veteran and Emmy Award nominated sports broadcaster Bill Ripken. Additionally, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will be in attendance on Thursday, July 30 for a U.S. semifinals matchup.
For scores, highlights and a behind-the-scenes look into all CRWS action, fans can follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@CRWSAberdeen) and Facebook.com/CRWSAberdeen. For a complete schedule and additional tournament, visit www.ripkenbaseball.com/world_series.