Every July, Triple Crown Baseball takes over the two gorgeous mountain towns of Steamboat Springs, CO and Park City, UT for the World Series. A few age groups are still rolling in Steamboat; however, the 9u and 12u divisions have already left it all out on the Park City dirt.
The fun began on July 16 with the famous “Parade of Teams” through Park City’s Historic Downtown where teams are introduced and celebrate the week ahead. After the parade and pin trading, some squads received trophies before the tournament even started by participating in the Team Skills Competition.
In the 9’s division, Texas Edge Papasan was a triple threat in the competition, showcasing speed, accuracy and power to become the 2018 Skills champions. Edge athletes Julian Alcala and Easton Bleeker each won individual awards; Alcala placing first in throwing accuracy and Bleeker placing first in the home run derby. Their teammate Braylon Reid was also on the leaderboard with the second fastest base running time. The team took second in the Around the Horn Competition behind the LVBA Lightning Navy.
There were individuals from numerous teams that stood out in the 12u Skills Competition, but the Houston Generals were the most successful collectively after winning the fastest Around the Horn time and Luke Rivers’ second-place base running achievement. Tucker Jones from Tiger Baseball Club Elite had the best throwing accuracy, Colby Majewski from Premier Baseball Club was the home run derby master and Andrew Fox from the INW Diamond Dawgs was the speediest of them all.
The 5-game guarantee started bright and early on Tuesday morning and the 9u Bolt’s road to becoming champions was unusual and impressive. The team got off to a rough start falling to the Victory Braves, 15-0, in their very first game at the World Series and finishing pool play 2-2. Things started clicking for Bolt when the stakes were higher; the Lehi, Utah based team went undefeated the rest of the tournament to claim the title.
Two of their four bracket play wins were a result of taking down the previously undefeated Braves; the first time was on Thursday which sent the Braves on a long trip through the loser’s bracket. The Braves ultimately fought their way back to the title game, however, Bolt had just a little more gas in the tank and won the matchup by one run, 6-5.
The large amount of teams in the older division allows the 12u event to be broken into three different sectors after pool play; the Elite 8 (seeds 1-8), Platinum bracket (seeds 9-24) and the Gold bracket (seeds 25-45).
The 4th seeded Houston Generals carried over their Skills Competition success to the 12u Elite 8 division. The Generals topped the 7th seeded Utah Owlz, 17-8 in the championship game to cap off their perfect 7-0 tournament record. The team defeated both the 1st and 2nd seeded squads on their road to becoming Triple Crown World Series champions.
The 12th seeded SM Pounders out of Springville, Utah nabbed the Platinum championship with an overall record of 7-1. Their only loss came in the championship, a tough 7-6 battle against Utah Elite Baseball. Lucky for the Pounders, they had one more shot at Elite in the “if” game and they were successful, winning a 16-10 hitters duel.
The 28th seeded Team ROCK from Ogden, Utah had a smooth road to success posting several run rule victories and ultimately a 12-4 championship win over the 26th seeded Salt Lake Gulls.