RBI teams gear up for World Series championship
Bradenton (Fla.) and Jackie Robinson RBI (Jersey City, N.J.) will square off at 2 p.m. ET at Target Field. Both senior squads are making their first ever appearances in the RBI World Series championship. RBI Dominicana and Chicago will collide at Target Field on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The Senior Division game will be shown live on MLB.com and will air on MLB Network on Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Chicago White Sox RBI coach Antwoine Brown said he will likely roll out a barrage of three pitchers against the Dominican Republic side. Brown will likely start right-hander Jalen McMillan, who he has been saving from pitching and instead has played third base over the last three days. McMillan will be complemented by fellow righty Anthony Justiniano and left-hander Raphe Gross.
"They won't see one guy the whole game -- that's for sure," Brown said.
Gross earned a win in round robin play on Thursday against Atlanta, allowing three runs on two hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings. Justiniano threw three strong innings of relief and got the victory in Chicago's quarterfinal over Harrisburg on Saturday. Meanwhile, McMillan hit .250 with an RBI in five games at third base.
"We're probably going righty, lefty, righty," Brown said. "Each pitcher does it a little different. Everybody's got velocity, but my lefty mixes it up a little better than the other guys."
Brown will need his three-headed staff executing well, because the Dominican team has become accustomed to putting up crooked numbers since arriving in Minneapolis. RBI Dominicana totaled 49 runs in its first five games of the RBI World Series, including a 15-5 drubbing of top-seeded Venice Boys & Girls Clubs on Saturday.
As for the nerves that one would expect to accompany 13-15 year olds while playing a game at a big league stadium, the Dominican Republic shouldn't have anything to worry about after claiming championships each of the last two years. A win Sunday would match them with Detroit as the only RBI team to capture a title in three straight years.
But Brown said he isn't worried about his kids being anxious, either.
"They've been on fields," Brown said. "The Sox do a lot for us. So they've been on U.S. Cellular. ... The kids won't be overwhelmed. They'll be excited and they'll be happy, but they won't be overwhelmed and they won't be nervous. I just want to keep them loose."