CHAMPION-- Astro Falcons, OH

RUNNER-UP-- Avalanche, PA

BATTING CHAMPION-- Ben Oddis, Astro Falcons

TOURNAMENT MVP-- Ryan Weibling, Astro Falcons

Championship Game Final Score-- Astro Falcons 11  Avalanche 7

2023 NABF 14u Sophomore World Series Champions – Astro Falcons

Astro Falcons' 7-run 3rd leads to Sophomore World Series championship

STRUTHERS, Ohio — Bob Cene Park, the home of Youngstown Class B Baseball, hosted the 49th NABF Sophomore World Series. It consisted of 10 teams from Ohio — Astro Falcons, Diamond Hit Club, DNA Raiders, Impact Baseball Club, Ohio City Baseball, Ohio Longhorns, Ohio Shamrocks, and Whiting —, Pennsylvania — Avalanche —, and New York — Brooklyn Sluggers. Out of those teams, only the Falcons, Ohio City, Avalanche, and Longhorns made it to bracket play after playing four pool games.

The Falcons took on Ohio City, and the Avalanche faced the Longhorns, which saw both Class B teams moving on to the championship by scores of 12-5 and 12-2. Entering the final game, the Avalanche scored 42 runs and gave up 14 for a 28-run differential, while 64 runners crossed the plate for the Falcons and allowed 17 runs for a tournament-best 47-run differential.

It ended up being a high-scoring championship where the Falcons scored seven times in the third inning to defeat the Avalanche 11-7. The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead in the first frame when Brekken Hedderick and Jack White hit back-to-back singles, and Logan Perks drove in Hedderick on a sacrifice fly.

Hedderick kept the slim lead by tossing scoreless innings in the first and second, where he struck out three Falcons. Then, he came back to pitch the third and faced 10 batters, with seven of them collecting a hit and scoring a run. Astro took a commanding 7-1 lead, but a half inning later, the Avalanche began to chip away.

In the fourth, Jared Bissell reached on a Chase Gelpi throwing error and would score on Carter Reichard’s RBI single to left. The Avalanche could have added more after getting runners on second and third with two out, but Kaden Reese got pinch hitter Brixton Gilmour to fly out to left fielder Ben Oddis.

Reese led off the home half with a double, but Hedderick stranded his counterpart at second after retiring the next three to end the inning.

The Falcons sent Reese back out to pitch the fifth and only faced Coen Fertig, who he walked on five pitches. Ryan Weibling relives him, where he allowed four consecutive Avalanche hitters to reach, with three scoring. The third hit he gave up looked like it would drive in Hedderick after Fertig, but Georgie Camuso tagged out the Avalanche pitcher at the plate. At the time, the decision ended up being the difference of being behind 7-6 instead of tied at 7.

Travis Wilding pitched the fifth for the Avalanche and worked a scoreless frame, allowing his team to tie or take the lead. Weibling shut down the Avs’ chance by only giving up a two-out hit.

The sixth was a completely different story for Wilding as defensive misuses, hitting two batters, and four base hits allowed results in four Falcons insurance runs. It made it 11-6 Astro with three outs left for the Avalanche.

Wilding would drive in the Avalanche’s lone run in the seventh on a two-out single, but it was too little too late as Weibling produced a Nic Aho ground ball to second, giving the Falcons the NABF Sophomore World Series championship.

Following the championship, the NABF announced the All-Tournament team, which included Ben Oddis and Ryan Weibling, receiving Batting Champion and MVP honors.

2023 NABF 14u Sophomore All Tournament Team

Luca Mezzanotte Whiting C
Jared Bissell Avalanche C
Matt McKee Ohio City UTIL
Ben Oddis Astro Falcons UTIL -- Batting Champion
Isaiah Rose Diamond Hit Club IF
Jack Williams Ohio Longhorns IF
Logan Faup Ohio Shamrocks IF
Logan Perks Avalanche IF
Joey Gabriel Astro Falcons IF
Chase Gelpi Astro Falcons IF
Frankie Brunner Brooklyn Sluggers OF
Evan Faust Impact OF
Brekken Hedderick Avalanche OF
Coen Fertig Avalanche OF
Kaden Reese Astro Falcons OF
Ryan Weibling Astro Falcons OF -- MVP
Will Crooks Ohio City P
Layne Davis Ohio Longhorns P
Carter Reichard Avalanche P
Nic Aho Avalanche P
Ford Stacy Astro Falcons P