Durham Triple Play wins RBI World Series debut

August 6th, 2019

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- While other teams and RBI programs have been here before, the Durham Triple Play Senior Division squad is making the most of its first trip to the RBI World Series.

On Monday, Durham performed like seasoned veterans, with many players contributing to a 7-6 victory over Detroit PAL RBI in the first day of pool play. Shortstop Jaden Bailey delivered a pair of RBI doubles, breaking a 5-5 tie in the fifth inning, and then scoring what proved to be the winning run. Justin Campbell was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate and scored a game-high three runs.

In addition, Amaree Leak crossed the plate twice in Durham’s first RBI World Series victory.

Durham starting pitcher Kei Yamagishi also collected two hits and drove in a game-high three runs. Reliever Jeriah Wilburn picked up the win, working 3 2/3 innings while allowing just one run. Wilburn also contributed at the plate with a hit that drove in a run.

It was a hard-fought victory, and one that coach Paul Ensslin was hoping for and anticipating.

“We know that every team here is a regional champion,” Ensslin said. “Every team is just as hungry. Every team is just as skilled. So when you get to this point, it’s not about managing the skill and the strategy so much as just controlling the mentality of the kids -- making sure they stay hydrated, make sure they get to bed on time, et cetera."

So despite any opening day jitters, the team was able to overcome and claim a win in its RBI World Series debut.

“It’s a mature group,” Ensslin said. “They get along well and they’re coachable. They want to succeed.”

Durham dropped a 12-5 decision to Paterson RBI in a late Monday night game to even its pool play record at 1-1. Durham faces the Miami Marlins RBI team at 10:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday in its final pool play game.

Arizona continues to roll

The Arizona RBI Junior Division team is picking up where it left off. Like its Senior Division team, Arizona is making its third consecutive trip to the RBI World Series. Not wasting any time, Arizona defeated the Miami Marlins RBI team, 4-1, early Monday morning to open pool play.

Arizona leadoff batter Jesus Valencia got his team rolling with a 2-for-4 day, setting the stage for an impressive victory. It was an important one as well, considering the bad taste the team was left with after falling in one of last year’s RBI World Series semifinal games.

“It didn’t really bother me,” said Valencia, who was then in his first year with the RBI program. “It was just a great time with great people. This being my second year, I kind of know what to expect a little more. The mentality definitely changes. We’re just going to try and do our best and have a great time.”

Still, making the trip back with a trophy is the goal.

“Oh yeah, losing a semifinal is always tough,” Valencia said. “So you definitely want to come back stronger the next year.”

Not to be outdone, Alain Camou, batting right behind Valencia, equaled his efforts with a 2-for-4 day of his own and a run scored. Teammate Jacob Beltran highlighted Arizona’s four-run third inning that propelled them to victory with a run-scoring single before crossing the plate with the team’s final run.

Starting pitcher Frank Anaya made those runs stand up. He earned the win with six strong innings, allowing just one run while striking out three. He did not walk a batter. Marco Pacheco earned the save with an inning of scoreless relief. He struck out one and also did not issue a free pass.

Junior Division recap

RBI of Greater Harrisburg left fielder Zachary Knull and center fielder Ellis Snow combined to score five of the team’s runs while also collecting a team-high-tying two hits apiece in a 16-4 win over the Red Sox Foundation RBI.

New Orleans Youth Academy starting pitcher Jeffery Duroncelay was dominant against the perennial contender Chicago White Sox RBI, hurling 4 1/3 innings of no-hit ball, striking out five batters and walking one in a 4-3 win.

With his team trailing 3-0 in the sixth inning, Chicago right fielder Cameron Hill delivered a two-run triple to close the gap to 3-2. He would score to tie the game on a sacrifice fly by the next batter.

Carolina (Puerto Rico) RBI right fielder Diego Ortiz drove in a team-high two runs and starting pitcher Elmer Rodriguez set the tone with 3 1/3 scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club (St. Louis) RBI.

Senior Division recap

The Arizona RBI opened pool play with wins over Cleveland Baseball Federation (8-2) and Carolina (Puerto Rico) 15-2.

Catcher Michael Quinones, first baseman Joseph Cammarata and second baseman Omar Baldenegro drove in two runs each, while starting pitcher Jose Velazquez struck out 10 in the win over Cleveland.

Cammarata (2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and right fielder Guillermo Rivera (4 RBIs, 2 runs) sparked the win over Carolina, while pitcher Nathan Rohlicek threw four solid innings of one-hit ball, striking out six.

The Miami Marlins RBI team also won its first two pool play games on Monday, stopping Paterson RBI, 6-3, before turning away Detroit PAL RBI, 5-1.

Center fielder Kendry Noriega delivered a two-run double and Michael Paez threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in the win over Paterson. Second baseman Jamal Johnson delivered two hits and scored two runs in the victory over Detroit.

Carolina (Puerto Rico) RBI edged Austin RBI, 3-2, with Pedro Crespo driving in two runs in the win. Austin’s Preston Kohler and Victor Mendoza each drove in a run.

Cleveland Baseball Federation and Austin RBI played to a 5-5 tie.