Undefeated Harrisburg to meet Miami for Senior title at RBI World Series

The playoffs and semifinals of the Baseball Senior and Junior Divisions of the 2015 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series took place on Friday, August 14.

Senior Division Playoff Results:

At Bicentennial Park, #1 Harrisburg defeated #4 Puerto Rico RBI, 1-0, in a tightly-contested pitcher's duel. Harrisburg starter Zach Sims tossed six scoreless innings, retiring 18 of the 21 batters he faced, and struck out six on the day. Harrisburg's Michael Geesaman delivered the game's only run via a two-out single in the 5th inning to drive in Connor Anderson. Puerto Rico starting Mad Salgado pitched very well in a losing effort. He retired 18 of the 22 batters he faced in his complete game effort. Harrisburg RBI advanced to the semifinals to meet #3 Chicago Cubs/Union League Boys & Girls Club RBI.

At Colleyville High School, #3 Chicago Cubs/Union League Boys & Girls Club RBI defeated #2 Houston Astros RBI, 2-1. Chicago starting pitcher Brian Alvarez's day on the mound began a bit ominously, allowing five of the first six batters he faced to reach base. However, after allowing his third walk of the game in the second inning, he would proceed to retire 13 consecutive Houston batters, and would only allow two baserunners (error in the 6th inning, base hit in the 7th) the remainder of the game. He would advance his team thanks to his complete game, ace performance. After trailing for much of the game, Chicago's General McArthur stepped to the plate in the top of the 6th with the score tied. He would then deliver a one-out single to drive in Keith Sanders with the go-ahead run. Houston starter Kaelon Woods was en route to one of the tournament's top pitching performances - retiring the first 9 consecutive batters he faced and 15 of 16 Houston hitters through 5 innings. In total, he pitched 7 innings, striking out 10 and only surrendering one earned run. He, and his Houston club, were undone by an error sandwiched by two Chicago singles. With the win, Chicago Cubs/Union League Boys & Girls Club RBI advanced to the semifinals to play against #1 Harrisburg RBI.

At Oak Grove Park H, #1 Paterson RBI defeated #4 Arizona RBI, 2-1, in a close contest. Paterson starter Tommy Rodriguez delivered a complete-game performance, only surrendering one run. Paterson's Anfernee Torruella was a perfect 3-3, including a 4th inning single to drive in the game's first run. Arizona starter Rude Gonzalez pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing only one earned run and striking out 5. Paterson RBI advanced to the semifinals in the Senior Division to meet #2 Miami Marlins RBI

At Colleyville High School, #2 Miami Marlins RBI topped #3 Cincinnati Reds RBI, 2-1, in walk-off fashion in extra innings. Miami starting pitcher Luis Chipi delivered a dominating performance, going seven strong innings while striking out 10 and surrendering only 4 hits and two walks. He retired 20 of the 26 batters he faced. With two outs in the bottom of the 8th, Miami first baseman Gianlucca Borelly sent the first pitch on a line drive to right field to score Bryan Lavistida - the winning run. Cincinnati starter Alex Franzen didn't allow a hit in the first 5 1/3 innings, and in 7 innings of work, only allowed three hits while striking out three. Miami Marlins RBI advanced to the semifinals to take on #1 Paterson RBI.

Junior Division Playoff Results:

At Oak Grove Park I, #1 Dominican Republic North RBI topped #4 Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI by a score of 6-1. Albert Mejia was the leader at the plate for the team from the Dominican Republic, going 2-for-3 with two hits, two RBI, a run scored and a walk. Mejia's first hit of the game was a single to centerfield that scored Jerry Rodriguez for the go-ahead run. The score remained 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth when Mejia lead off the inning with a walk. Mejia and Samuel Covar scored on a double by Darius Diaz to bring the score to 5-1. The final run of the game was scored on a double to left field by Mejia in the sixth inning. Wirmer Pena threw a complete game for DR North, fanning five batters and allowing eight hits in seven innings. Though the score did not reflect it, Pawtucket's bats were not silent in today's loss. Angelo Cazzarro, Jordan Perdomo and Wilson Echevarria each recorded multiple hits, with Echevarria notching a team-high three. Cazzorro tallied the lone RBI of the game on a single to second base that scored Sean Duphy. Dominican Republic advanced to the semifinals to face #3 Detroit PAL RBI.

At the Parks at Texas Star, #3 Detroit PAL RBI topped #2 Chicago White Sox RBI, 15-0, in a mercy-shortened elimination game. Detroit PAL RBI tallied 10 hits in their 15-0 rout of Chicago White Sox RBI. Gabriel Sotres led the team at the plate with two hits, four RBI, a run and a walk. Scoring began in the first inning with two runs scored on two hits. Both teams bats' were quiet for the next two innings before Sotres' leadoff walk sparked Detroit's offensive charge in the fourth inning. The team scored seven runs on four hits, including a triple by Matthew Scally. Detroit tacked on six more runs in the fifth inning, taking advantage of Chicago's struggles in the field and on the mound. Zach Gregorich threw a complete game for Detroit, allowing only one hit in five innings pitched. He recorded one strikeout and three walks. Detroit PAL RBI advanced to the semifinals to take on #1 Dominican Republic North RBI.

At Colleyville City Park, #2 Houston Astros RBI topped #3 Prince George's Boys & Girls Club RBI by the score of 8-6. Houston opened the game with a solo home run by Bryson Jackson in the bottom of the first - the first of five RBIs for Jackson, which is a tournament-high. Houston added three more runs in the bottom on the second inning with a single by Eghosa Omokaro that scored Juan Macias and Julian Rojas and a sac fly by Dante Farr-Collins that scored Owen Castillo. Houston added to their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and another two in the bottom of the sixth, both on singles by Jackson. Ian Clements and Tim Hanible both recorded two-hit games for Prince George's County. Clements was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run. After falling behind 0-4, Clements blasted a two-run home run in the third inning to begin PG County's scoring. The team added two more runs in the top of the fifth after Donovan Frayer stole home and Tyrus Pincham scored on a single by Davis. PG County rallied in the top of the seventh to try to overcome Houston's lead, but fell short. With the win, Houston Astros RBI advanced to the semifinals vs. Arizona RBI.

At Wagon Wheel Park, #1 Arizona RBI topped #4 Bradenton RBI, 15-0, in a mercy-shortened game. Matthew Armendariz dominated on the mound and at the plate in Arizona's 15-0 rout of Brandenton. He threw a no-hitter with one strikeout in four innings of work. At the plate, Armendariz went 3-for-3 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored. Daniel Cervantes blasted two home runs in the game, one in the first inning and one in the fourth on his way to three hits and three RBIs. Jesus Moreno added to the hit brigade with a home run of his own in the first inning. He also tallied a double in the third leading to a 3-for-3 showing with three runs and two RBIs. Arizona RBI advanced to the semifinals to take on #2 Houston Astros RBI.

Senior Division Semifinal Results:

#1 Harrisburg RBI defeated #3 Chicago Cubs/Union League Boys & Girls Club RBI, 5-4, in extra innings, walk-off fashion. Harrisburg right fielder Colby Schearer has had a few big hits so far this tournament, but none bigger than his 8th inning single to drive in the winning run (Aaron Gress). Speaking of Gress, he came in to pitch after Harrisburg hurlers had surrendered four total runs in 2 1/3 innings. He proceeded to pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out five. Chicago first baseman Jameil Brown got the scoring started for both his team and the game with a two-run double in the top of the 1st inning. He finished the game 2-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

#2 Miami Marlins RBI defeated #1 Paterson RBI, 8-0. Miami starting pitcher Cleveland Westbrook delivered a masterpiece performance when it counted. In his complete-game shutout, Westbrook only allowed two base hits, walked one and struck out nine. Every single one of Miami's hitters had at least one base hit. Most notably, Carlos Reyes (2-4, one RBI, one run and two doubles), Brandon Nayor (3-4, one double, three runs scored, one RBI and one stolen base) and Robert Robinson (2-3, with game-high two RBIs).

Harrisburg RBI and Miami Marlins RBI will compete in the 2015 RBI World Series Senior Division Baseball Championship at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas at 10:45 a.m. CT on Saturday, August 15th.

Junior Division Semifinal Results:

#1 Dominican Republic North RBI topped #3 Detroit PAL RBI, 4-0. Abrahan Lopez pitched a complete game to earn the semifinal win for Dominican Republic North RBI. He allowed only one hit and fanned six batters in seven innings. Six batters notched hits in the game for DR North. Albert Mejia tallied a team-high two hits, finishing the game 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and an RBI. DR North recorded two runs in the top of the second and an additional run in the third and seventh innings. Antonio Flores, Jr. recorded the only hit for Detroit PAL with a single in the bottom of the seventh to break-up the no-hitter.

#2 Houston Astros RBI defeated #1 Arizona RBI, 4-2. Houston jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. With runners on first and second, Martin Blake singled to left field to drive in Tyrese Clayborne and Dante Farr-Collins for the first runs of the game. Avery George followed with a sacrifice fly to score Bryson Jackson. The final run for Houston was scored on a single to left by Juan Macias. On the mound, Joe Hunt pitched a complete game, allowing two runs and striking out five batters in seven innings of work. Tyler Laliberty was 3-for-4 with a run scored for Arizona in its campaign to come back from a 0-4 deficit. The team rallied in the fifth inning with two runs on a single to center field by Daniel Cervantes that scored Demetrio Botello and Laliberty. Cervantes was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.

Dominican Republic North RBI and Houston Astros RBI will compete in the 2015 RBI World Series Junior Division Baseball Championship at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas at 7:30 a.m. CT on Saturday, August 15th.