2021 NABF Sophomore Division Champions-Release Baseball
CHAMPION-- Release Baseball
RUNNER-UP-- Astro Falcons
BATTING CHAMPION-- Dom Cubellis, Astro Falcons
TOURNAMENT MVP--Deacon Nelson, Release Baseball
|POSITION||TEAM NAME||PLAYER NAME|
|C||Nordonia Knights||Owen Smotek|
|C||Release Baseball||Stone Fawcett|
|1B||Creekside Fitness||Andrew Brian|
|2B||Astro Falcons||Anthony Triveri|
|3B||Release Baseball||Eric Geddes|
|SS||Creekside Fitness||Carter Owens|
|Utility||Creekside Fitness||Mike Bartoe|
|OF||Astro Falcons||Dom Cubellis|
|OF||Release Baseball||Brady Olsen|
|OF||Creekside Fitness||Adam Konnerth|
|OF||Brooklyn Bonnies||Aaron Sibblies|
|OF||Astro Falcons||Scott Eaton|
|DH||Astro Falcons||Landon Whippo|
|P||Astro Falcons||Charlie Young|
|P||Astro Falcons||Seth Walker|
|P||Nordonia Knights||Logan Mackey|
|P||Release Baseball||Frankie Clark|
|P||Release Baseball||Grant Schag|
|P||Release Baseball||Deacon Nelson|
by Jack Butler
Struthers, OH – Release and Astro Falcons matched up in the 2021 NABF 14u Sophomore World Series at Bob Cene Park. The Falcons defeated Creekside Fitness 6-2 in the first semifinal on Saturday and Release narrowly won against the Nordonia Knights 4-1 in the second semifinal. The two best teams were going at it and boy was it a dandy.
Rain was forecasted for the afternoon; however, it was clear enough to play the Championship. Hunter Garvin fired the first pitch just a little after 11:30 AM and the game was underway. Release could not take advantage of a one out walk as Garvin produced an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.
The Falcons looked to take an early lead off Releases’ Deacon Nelson while the five-foot ten inch right hander hand other ideas. Nelson retired the side in order on three ground outs and Release would get on the board in the second. Garvin hit Stone Fawcett with a pitch and two batters later, Nelson helped his own cause by lining an RBI double giving his team a 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Falcons collected their first two hits, but they could not capitalize as Nelson left both runners stranded. Release plated two more runs on back-to-back two out walks by Garvin, one to Eric Geddes and another to Nelson. Release now commanded a slim 3-0 lead in the third which seemed like a 300-0 lead with their best pitcher on the hill.
Nelson went back out to the mound and retired the next seven Falcons in order from the beginning of the third to the first batter he sent down in the fifth. The Falcons quieted the Release bats with scoreless frames from the fourth to sixth innings. Nelson was tested by the Falcons in the bottom of sixth as they managed to hit three singles off him, equaling the amount he gave up through five innings. Landon Whippo got the Falcons the board with a run scoring single, plating Jacob Hayes which made it 3-1 Release.
In the seventh, Release got a huge insurance run off Scottie Eaton Jr. when Grant Schag and Nelson singled. Then Frankie Clark drove in Schag on a base hit to make it a three-run advantage once again at 4-1.
Release sent out Nelson to finish the game and he delivered by producing a groundout to Frankie Clark who tossed it to over Schag at second to get the force ending the game, the Championship, and the wonderful NABF 14u World Series. More importantly, Release wins the World Series while Astro Falcons end up being the tournament runners up.
Following the game, the NABF awarded Deacon Nelson the Sophomore Division Tournament MVP for his play at the plate, in the field, and on the mound. Nelson tossed 7.0, allowed 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 1 SO in the Championship game and also became the hero of their comeback win against Creekside Fitness by lining a two-out two run RBI single, keeping them undefeated in pool play. Dominic Cubellis of Astro Falcons received hardware of his own after batting .667, making him the Batting Champion.