Month: September 2017

RBI Beats Pasadena in Epic Maryland AAU Championship Game

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—For the fourth time in program history, the Maryland RBI advanced skills development team are Maryland AAU champions.

Maryland RBI held on in a nail-biter over AAU 19U Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League conference rival and defending AAU fall wood bat state champion Pasadena Baseball Club (Md.)—though the final score does not reflect the close nature of the Saturday afternoon title tilt played in sweltering 93-degree heat.

RBI survived second, first-and-third, and no-out threats throughout the game while clinging to a precarious 1-0 lead and then a 1-1 tie through the top of the fifth inning. Surviving those repeated jams allowed RBI’s bats to finally explode against the Eagles bullpen, scoring nine times in the fifth inning to put away the Eagles 10-1.

A year ago this weekend in the 2016 championship, Mid-Atlantic power and No. 1 top-seed RBI struggled on the mound vs. the South River Seahawks. In one of the biggest upsets in Maryland AAU sports history, South River shocked the AAU Baseball world as RBI lost in the finals to the Seahawks, 9-5. The stunning result of the collision reverberated throughout the nation.

Like last year, its fifth trip to the finals in seven seasons, RBI entered the 2017 championship game again as the No. 1 seed and with the same pitchers, Garrett Corry and Scott Mudd available.

Corry gave RBI seven strong innings, keeping up tremendous starting pitching that helped win the championship, while go-to reliever Mudd kept warmed up and ready to come out of the bullpen at any moment to get Corry out of jams. RBI had Mudd ready to relieve in the winner-take-all game for the title but in the end he was not needed. Corry went the distance for the complete game victory and was selected by Pasadena’s players as the MVP for RBI.

RBI did not break, in large part because of Coach Chris Cummings’ unshakeable confidence in his pitching and defense—pillars of RBI’s long run in AAU Baseball in Maryland—reinforced with an avalanche of timely hitting on full display at Riva Area Park that propelled RBI to the championship.

There were several key plays. In the fourth inning when Pasadena grounded to short with a runner on third, RBI’s Jake Willis fired home to catcher Jake Fedorczyk, who applied the tag denying the Eagles the go ahead run, dodging Pasadena’s best shot in the game, and snuffing the rally.

The game was tied at one with RBI batting in the bottom of the fifth when Jimmie Gentry doubled off of Kyle Davis, driving in the go ahead run. RBI went on to secure the victory thanks to an improbable 9-run explosion in the inning.

RBI’s big inning was driven by a lead-off double by Gentry, a single by Connor Graham, a single by Fedorczyk, a 2-run double by Billy Albaugh, an error, a single by Willis, and a groundout.

Corry went the seven innings for RBI, surrendering one run, six hits, striking out nine, and walking none. Kyle Davis took the loss for the Pasadena Eagles. He pitched four innings, giving up six runs, five hits, striking out five, and walking zero.

RBI collected 11 hits. Gentry, Albaugh, and Graham each collected multiple hits for RBI. Gentry went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead Maryland RBI. Graham and Albaugh each went 2-for-4 with a single and double. Willis, Graham, and Zach Gamblin each scored two runs.

The Pasadena Eagles had six hits in the game. Pat Blum and Nick Patacky each collected multiple hits for the Eagles. Catcher Jason Walls was selected by RBI’s players as the Pasadena MVP.

2017 AAU Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League Championship

Back in mid-May, the first pitch of the 2017 AAU Baseball season in the National Capital Region was thrown as nine 19U AAU travel baseball teams started upon their journey toward the Maryland state capitol, Annapolis. Now, after a 16 game regular season, they are nearing the promised land of the 2017 AAU Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League Championship at Riva Area Park and other Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks fields and area high schools. A weeklong single-elimination baseball tournament follows, and it should be plenty of fun. It should be an exciting continuation of what will be an incredibly intriguing week of AAU baseball.

John Pineau, who is director of AAU Baseball’s Potomac Valley and Maryland Districts, the president of the RBI youth baseball club and league, leads the amateur youth sports initiative that has become an annual fixture that honors, celebrates, inspires, and empowers AAU Baseball athletes, coaches, and volunteers in the National Capital Region.
“We are delighted at RBI to be leading the AAU Mid-Atlantic Wood Bat League Championship and league again,” said Pineau, who, in addition to being the commissioner, also is head coach of the Rats 19U team. “I am thrilled to be able to devote my attention to building AAU Baseball and supporting the great cause of improving the lives of youth, our nation’s greatest asset. Along with our many partners like Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks and high school and college coaches, we have a great opportunity to use the sport of amateur baseball to make a profound social impact, and at RBI we are taking full advantage of it.”

Pineau credits RBI colleague Ray Albaugh with the success of the 2017 spring/summer season.

“Launching youth sports endeavors as community service requires tremendous vision and leadership,” said Pineau. “Ray has played a significant role in the development of the AAU Baseball advantage in Maryland and was instrumental in spreading awareness in the community. He has done a phenomenal job organizing and implementing the 2017 season with a great passion for the baseball community and for the mission of our Maryland district in AAU and our RBI club. Throughout his distinguished coaching career, he has been known for his great intellect, big heart and creativity. He is the very best person to work with and take this league and tournament to an exciting new echelon for years to come.”

Since the fall of 2009, RBI has been remarkably successful, positively affecting youth throughout the National Capital Region and notably inspiring students for college. It hosted thousands of games in the region, including more than 1,200 games at Riva Area Park. Numerous RBI and the league’s players have advanced to college baseball and been selected for the summer collegiate baseball leagues, such as the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Collegiate Baseball League Europe, the Carolina Virginia Collegiate League, and the Mid Atlantic Collegiate League.