CHAMPION-- Bergen Crush, NJ
RUNNER-UP-- New York Gothams, NY
TOURNAMENT MVP-- Walker Snee, Bergen Crush
Championship Game Final Score-- Bergen Crush 11 New York Gothams 7
2023 NABF 12u Freshman Division Champions – Bergen Crush
RAMSEY, N.J. — The 30th Freshman Division World Series consisted of six teams from bordering Mid-Atlantic states — New Jersey and New York — hosted by the Tri-County Baseball Association. BC Cyclones, Bergen Crush, DBacks Black, and DBacks Maroon were from New Jersey, while Brooklyn Sluggers and NY Gothams represented New York.
All the teams played two pool games where the top two received byes to the semifinals, and seeds three through six needed to play in the quarterfinals. The Gothams and Crush went undefeated, meaning the former earned the number one seed because they scored 10 more runs.
The quarterfinals saw the DBacks Black defeat the Sluggers 11-6, and the Cyclones narrowly won 8–5 over DBacks Maroon. Black and the Cyclones faced off against the Gothams and Crush, respectively, in the semifinals.
The Cyclones were on the wrong side of an 8-5 score while the Gothams put up 15 runs for the third time in the World Series in a win versus DBacks Black. So, the two highest-scoring teams met in the championship with the game being one-sided as the Crush never looked back after taking a 3–0 lead in the first, eventually taking it 11-0.
Bergen’s scoring started with the first two batters reaching on Evan Von Rudenborg’s leadoff single and a Walker Snee base on balls off Kevin Pulleo. Mason Abromowicz drove them both home on a base hit, and Ryan McTigue would follow with a single of his own with an error by catcher Charlie Delman allowing Abromowicz to cross the plate.
Snee shut down the Gotham bats in the bottom of the first, where he struck out a pair, and Pulleo kept the Crush off the board the next inning by retiring them one-two-three.
The bottom of the second was the turning point in the game. New York was only down 3-0, and if they just got one, it would be a two-run game with more chances to score in subsequent innings. Unfortunately, after Min Joon Kim walked, Snee set down the following three batters, squandering their opportunity.
Bergen doubled the lead in the third with help from two Harrison Slomko throwing errors and a second Delman miscue, making it 6-0. Snee issued two walks, putting the Gothams in their first and only at-bat with a runner in scoring position, and got Darwin Alexander to ground out to short.
The Crush plated five runs in the fourth that included RBIs from Zach Gatti on a single, James Amerio with a bases-loaded walk, and Abromowicz on a 1-3 groundout. Snee retired Min Joon and Roman Ellis to begin the bottom frame and struck out James Shaw after walking Gianni Muro, making the Crush the 2023 NABF Freshman World Series champions.
Snee was awarded the MVP after going 9-for-10 with two doubles, three home runs, and nine RBIs while compiling a 2.917 OPS, and tossed four no-hit innings and struck out eight in the championship.