White Sox Nike RBI team wins junior division championship

August 7th, 2023

VERO BEACH, Fla. -- For the second straight year, the Chicago White Sox Nike RBI junior team are the Nike RBI World Series champions.

The White Sox turned in their best performance when it mattered most, run-ruling the Dodgers Dreamteam Nike RBI junior team, 11-0, in five innings on Saturday at Holman Stadium at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.

With the win, Chicago’s junior team won its fourth World Series in the junior division and sixth overall as a program. The White Sox have won a Nike RBI World Series in baseball in five of the past seven tournaments.

Ameer Rule and Joey Ireland were the MLB Develops Chevy co-MVPs of the Junior Division Championship Game.

Rule pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout with four strikeouts. The lefty was one out away from a no-hitter.

“My last outing was a bad experience, so it feels good to come back, come in and show up against L.A.,“ Rule said. “They’re a pretty good team, but I had that dog in me, so I just had to dominate.”

Rule’s teammate and co-MVP, Ireland, said he knew the left-hander was capable of a performance like that from the moment before he was even announced as the team’s starting pitcher on Friday for the championship game.

“I knew he had it in him,“ Ireland said. “I knew he was going to do that. I told him before yesterday when I found out he was pitching, I said, ‘You’re going the whole game.’”

Ireland did it all for Chicago at the plate and in the field. He was 3-for-4 with two singles and a double and drove in a tournament-high seven RBIs. He also made multiple standout plays on defense.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play,“ Ireland said. “I was coming up with two outs, bases loaded, just trying to help out the team [with] team at-bats.”

James Clark had the Dodgers’ only hit on a single that deflected off of Rule.

Orion Bell was on the losing end of the decision, allowing nine runs (four earned), five hits, three walks, and he struck out two batters. Micah Afoa pitched two innings and allowed two runs in relief.

The offensive onslaught began for the White Sox with a five-run second inning. Jaylen Ware opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Mason Jarrett. With the bases loaded and two outs, Ireland hit a two-run single to expand the lead to three. Derrick Holmes followed Ireland with a bases-clearing two-run double.

Chicago tacked on four more in the fourth inning. It scored one run when Haiden Lajcin got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs, then Ireland hit a double to add on three more.

Ireland put Chicago in position to run-rule the Dodgers with a two-run single with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.

The White Sox scored 10 runs with two outs.