2021 18+ National

Fresno Grizzlies 15, Nassau Pirates 4

Submitted by Chris Lagow, Grizzlies manager

We were fortunate enough to go 7-0 in the 18+ division after losing a heartbreaker in the 25+ semi-finals earlier in the tournament.  We came back hungry and dedicated to taking it all.  We outscored our opponents 95 to 28 and felt very confidant heading into the championship game.

Our starting pitcher and tournament MVP, Nate Jaura, pitched eight innings and I was fortunate enough to come in and secure the last three outs against the Pirates.  We had some outstanding performances throughout the tournament, including Fernando Gutierrez (2B), Dominic Scotti (3B), Nick Criswell (OF), Ethan Freedenburg (P/OF), John Lemons (CF/P), and Joey Rosenblum.

Coming into the tournament we knew we had a good team but didn’t know how good until game one. We were resilient and competitive in every game and never gave up when faced with adversity.  It usually wasn’t until the mid-innings that we found our stride and pulled away.  The Grizzlies chemistry and depth proved too much for any team to match.

The Tucson Athletics gave us a run for our money in the semi-finals, as they came back to score seven in the top of the ninth, but we held on for a 10-8 victory.

We knew going into the finals we would have to adjust as the Nassau Pirates came in hungry.  Their ace threw a 5-0 perfect game victory in the semi’s and they had ex-professional pitcher Domingo Jimenez in their pockets waiting for us.

They scored one right away, and I’m sure they thought they had us but we were anxiously waiting to step up to the plate. We took the lead and never looked back on our way to a decisive 15-4 championship victory!