JUNIOR DIVISION (16&U)

STRUTHERS, OH
Winner: Astro Falcons, OH
Runner-Up: Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets, NY
Final Game: Astro Falcons 13 vs. Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets 3

 MVP - Brayden Beck, Astro Falcons                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Batting Champion – Chase Franken, Astro Falcons                                                                                                                                                                                                   

RECAP

Astro Falcons Win It All Again

By GREG GULAS

sports@vindy.com

STRUTHERS

The Astro Falcons 16-U team is a group that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

The defending NABF Junior World Series champions defeated Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets, 13-3 for their second consecutive junior crown Sunday afternoon at Cene Park.

Earlier in the day, Astros defeated Baird Brothers, 9-1 to advance to the title tilt.

The win also marked their third straight as a franchise, having won the Sophomore Division crown (14-U) in 2016.

Brayden Beck worked five innings and struck out three, scattering four hits to pick up the win and was named MVP for the tournament.

Vince Armeni had three hits — he laced two triples and a double — scored a run and had four RBIs. Connor Miller added two hits, including a triple with two runs scored while Chase Franken, who had two hits and scored two runs, was named batting champion after posting a .600 tourney average.

“It’s really nice to be named batting champion, but there are a lot of deserving players who could very easily have won the award,” Franken said. “I would put this team up against any team our age in the country.”

Armeni, who was the 2017 batting champion and MVP, had three triples, a double, scored two runs and had five runs batted in on the day.

“It’s an absolutely great feeling to be a three-time champion,” Armeni said. “Each championship is to be treasured, but the last one that you win is always the most special. This group is a very special group and one that has worked really hard all season long.”

Astros took the early 1-0 lead in the opening inning when Colin Balas walked, scoring a batter later when his double play mate, Armeni, followed with a run scoring triple - his first of two in the game and second of three on the day.

They stretched their lead to 6-0 in the third inning, sending 11 batters to the plate with Armeni’s second triple of the game plating Balas again, eventually rounding the bag and scoring without interruption on a throwing error during the relay by shortstop Josiel Santos.

The Bonnie Rockets cut the deficit to 6-2 in their half of the third inning with Santos scoring on a sacrifice fly by Mike Lewishall and Andy Alcantara racing home on Sammy Canela’s infield grounder.

Miller hit his second triple of the day in the fourth inning and had four hits, including three extra base hits on the day.

Astros continued to pound the ball in the fifth inning, adding three more runs to open a 9-2 margin with a two-run double by Armeni, and run-scoring double by Ricky Havrilla accounting for all three tallies.

After Alcantara walked to lead off the fifth inning, Canela’s ground out sent him across the plate to cut the Astros lead to 9-3.

Astros added four more runs in the seventh inning to ice the game.

Franken was quick to deflect any praise to his teammates.

Astros manager Jason Triveri said his team is a very special group of players.

After falling to 1-1 in tourney play, they outscored opponents 47-6 in the next four games

“It was very special to come back from a 2-1 deficit in the league championship series, but after going 1-1 in our first two tournament games, then to come back and accomplish what we did was equally special,” Triveri said. “Brayden has pitched in so many big games, we knew that if we had him ready for the championship game then we would have a good chance.”

JUNIOR DIVISION ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

Position Team Name Player Name
Catcher Astro Falcons Connor Miller
Catcher Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets Kenny Scottborgh
Utility Infielder Astro Falcons Rick Havrilla
Utility Infielder West NY Tigers Gabriel Abreu
1B Baird Brothers Jacob Gehring
2B Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets Josuel Santos
3B Baird Brothers Brenden Kilpatrick
SS Astro Falcons Vince Armeni
OF Astro Falcons Brayden Beck
OF Astro Falcons Chase Franken
OF Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets Samuel Camelo
OF Ohio Longhorns Adam Folk
OF Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets Nicholas Rivera
OF Frozen Ropes Outlaws Brett Becker
DH Astro Falcons Andrew Sabella
Pitcher Brooklyn Bonnie Rockets Andy Alcantara
Pitcher Ohio Longhorns Sylvan WIley
Pitcher Baird Brothers Austin Vogt
Pitcher Toledo Hawks Declan Harbaugh
Pitcher Toledo Hawks Brad South
Pitcher Team Ontario Declan Shaw

  • Color Guard, Opening Ceremonies, NABF Junior & Senior World Series
  • NABF President Derek Topik (left), NABF Sophomore, Junior, & Senior Division Tournament Director Scott Ruark (right)
  • Fireworks over Bob Cene Park - Struthers, Ohio