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Rays RBI Tampa wins junior baseball division championship at the 2018 RBI World Series

Tampa earns its first baseball championship since 2001 and first-ever in the junior division

Rays RBI Tampa has won the Junior Baseball Division Championship at the 2018 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series after defeating defending champions, Philadelphia Phillies RBI. Following their 5-3 victory at Siebert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Tampa finished the tournament with a 5-1 record. This is Tampa's second title overall as they won the Senior Division Championship in 2001.  

Tampa right fielder Dontavious Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player of the Junior Division Championship Game. With his team trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning, Johnson smashed a run-scoring triple that helped shift the momentum away from Philadelphia, which had only allowed one hit through five innings. Johnson would later score the second of Tampa's five runs in the inning on their way to their championship victory. 
•   Photos of the Jr. Division Championship Game can be found HERE
o   Password: mlb
o   Courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn, MLB Photos via Getty Images
The Senior Baseball Division Championship Game between Chicago White Sox RBI and Arizona RBI (out of Phoenix) is following this game at 11:35 a.m. CT and also will stream LIVE on MLB.com.  
In order to earn a spot in this year's RBI World Series, teams from the United States, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Uganda and Curaçao competed in RBI Regional Tournaments. A total of five RBI programs (Arizona RBI, Chicago White Sox RBI, Houston Astros RBI, Jackie Robinson RBI, Philadelphia Phillies RBI) are sending both junior and senior teams to the tournament. Historically, 12 countries and U.S. territories around the world have competed in the RBI World Series, including the United States, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Curaçao, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Uganda, United Kingdom and Venezuela.  
The RBI World Series is the international championship of the RBI program, which has provided a path for many players to enter the college and professional game. MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants throughout the program's 30-year history, and many others have been given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been more than 90 RBI alumni selected between the 2013-2018 MLB Drafts. Specifically in 2018, Alek Thomas (Chicago White Sox RBI, 2nd round, ARI); Micah Bello (Nobu Yamauchi, Hilo, Hawaii RBI, CB-B Round, MIL); Taj Bradley (Atlanta Metro RBI, 5th round, TB); Lawrence Butler (Atlanta Metro RBI, 6th round, OAK) were all drafted in the first six rounds. Bradley (2016) and Butler (2016 & 2017) have both played in a previous RBI World Series.

Rays RBI Tampa has won the Junior Baseball Division Championship at the 2018 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series after defeating defending champions, Philadelphia Phillies RBI. Following their 5-3 victory at Siebert Field on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Tampa finished the tournament with a 5-1 record. This is Tampa's second title overall as they won the Senior Division Championship in 2001.  

Tampa right fielder Dontavious Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player of the Junior Division Championship Game. With his team trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning, Johnson smashed a run-scoring triple that helped shift the momentum away from Philadelphia, which had only allowed one hit through five innings. Johnson would later score the second of Tampa's five runs in the inning on their way to their championship victory. 
•   Photos of the Jr. Division Championship Game can be found HERE
o   Password: mlb
o   Courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn, MLB Photos via Getty Images
The Senior Baseball Division Championship Game between Chicago White Sox RBI and Arizona RBI (out of Phoenix) is following this game at 11:35 a.m. CT and also will stream LIVE on MLB.com.  
In order to earn a spot in this year's RBI World Series, teams from the United States, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Uganda and Curaçao competed in RBI Regional Tournaments. A total of five RBI programs (Arizona RBI, Chicago White Sox RBI, Houston Astros RBI, Jackie Robinson RBI, Philadelphia Phillies RBI) are sending both junior and senior teams to the tournament. Historically, 12 countries and U.S. territories around the world have competed in the RBI World Series, including the United States, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Curaçao, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Thomas, Uganda, United Kingdom and Venezuela.  
The RBI World Series is the international championship of the RBI program, which has provided a path for many players to enter the college and professional game. MLB Clubs have drafted more than 200 RBI participants throughout the program's 30-year history, and many others have been given the opportunity for higher education through baseball and softball scholarships. There have been more than 90 RBI alumni selected between the 2013-2018 MLB Drafts. Specifically in 2018, Alek Thomas (Chicago White Sox RBI, 2nd round, ARI); Micah Bello (Nobu Yamauchi, Hilo, Hawaii RBI, CB-B Round, MIL); Taj Bradley (Atlanta Metro RBI, 5th round, TB); Lawrence Butler (Atlanta Metro RBI, 6th round, OAK) were all drafted in the first six rounds. Bradley (2016) and Butler (2016 & 2017) have both played in a previous RBI World Series.

RBI alumni who appeared in the Major Leagues in 2018 include Justin Upton (Los Angeles Angels), CC Sabathia (New York Yankees), Nomar Mazara (Texas Rangers), Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals), Josh Harrison (Pittsburgh Pirates), Chris Young (Boston Red Sox), Yovani Gallardo (Texas Rangers), Hector Santiago (Chicago White Sox), Steven Souza, Jr. (Arizona Diamondbacks), Chris Iannetta (Colorado Rockies), J.P. Crawford (Philadelphia Phillies) and Dominic Smith (New York Mets). Gallardo (Fort Worth RBI - '03), Mazara (Dominican Republic RBI - '11), Crawford (Venice Boys & Girls Club RBI - '09) and Smith (Venice Boys & Girls Club RBI - '09) have each played in the RBI World Series. NBC News senior food analyst and former White House chef Sam Kass is also an RBI World Series alumnus.

The RBI program, which has served approximately 2 million young people since its inception, is administered by Major League Baseball and designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons. RBI currently serves young men and women in over 300 programs in approximately 200 cities worldwide. MLB and its Clubs have designated more than $40 million worth of resources to the RBI program, and all 30 Clubs support RBI leagues. For more information about the RBI World Series, please visit MLB.com/rbiworldseries.