From Ripken Baseball:
Ripken Baseball today celebrated the start of the 17th 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 CRWS 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 the first official game of the annual tournament as host team Harford County took on Team Mid-Atlantic from Marlton, New Jersey.
All 18 teams kicked things off with a series of skills competitions, including the Turn Two challenge, Golden Spikes, Outfield Relay and Home Run Derby. Team Japan put on an impressive showing, sweeping the competition in all categories, including a speedy 23.66 seconds in the Turn Two and a 25.65 seconds in the Golden Spikes.
The tournament’s opening matchup under the lights at Cal, Sr.’s Yard saw a pitching duel until the top of the third when Team Middle Atlantic capitalized on a line drive double from Colin Griffin, bringing home Christian Bonafiglia for a 1-0 lead. Harford County immediately answered in the bottom of the third with a grand slam from Cody Kurek to regain the lead 4-1. Middle Atlantic began to hack away at the deficit, as Jackson Edelman notched a two-run RBI via single to right field. Harford County’s defense and lights out pitching proved to be too much, as the host team ultimately secured a 4-3 victory. Not only did Kurek deliver at the plate, but also on the pitching mound – collecting 10 strikeouts and pitching all six innings.
“I want to tip my hat to Team Middle Atlantic – they were a great team and they battled us to the end,” said Harford County Coach Joe McIlhenney. “Going into the next game, I think this win gives us the confidence to say that we’re here and we can play against anyone as long as we do these three things: timely hitting, solid defense, and good pitching. I think we’re going to battle.”
The Cal Ripken World Series is where the world comes to play, the Ripken Way, and serves as 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 eight international teams. Games will be played on the innovative fields at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen Powered By Under Armour complex, including Cal Sr.’s Yard, a two-thirds replica of Camden Yards.
Fans around the world will have the opportunity to watch free live broadcasts of the championship games on Fox Sports 2, as well as free live streaming options on MLB.com and FOXSportsGo.com. The championship games on August 5 and 6 will also include live commentary from MLB veteran and Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster Bill Ripken.
Tomorrow’s pool play kicks off at 12:30 p.m. EST as Puerto Rico takes on Republic of Korea at Cal Sr.’s Yard and Canada at Dominican Republic on Nationals Field. 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.