Steelheads crowned Youth World Series tourney champs in Reno


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The Northern Humboldt Steelheads 14U baseball team took home the championship at the Youth World Series tournament in Reno this past weekend.

The team, composed mostly of McKinleyville High freshmen and sophomores, dropped its first game of the tournament 8-7 to the Spokane Expos, but then proceeded to reel off five straight wins to claim the crown.

On Championship Sunday, the Steelheads hammered the Seattle Rawlings Tigers 12-1 in the semifinals, behind strong pitching from Jackson Kelly and an offensive barrage led by Kolbey Stolpe, who doubled three times and drove in four, and Cole Armstrong, who also had four RBIs.

Then in the championship game, the team faced a familiar foe, Renegade Baseball Club of Southern Oregon, who they play often at tournaments in Medford. Games between the teams are always close and competitive, and this one was no different.

Evan Fraser broke a scoreless tie in the third when he ripped a ball up the middle that ricocheted off the fiberglass mound and into the outfield, allowing Cole Zeller to score. Fraser would come around to score on a two-out single by Beau Karrer.

That would ultimately be all the Steelheads needed, thanks to a dominant complete-game performance by Branson Dobrec on the mound. Dobrec allowed just one run on three hits, striking out six in a 4-1 win.

The Steelheads 13U team was also at the tournament, and went 5-2, coming up one game short of the championship.

Stolpe, Karrer, and Tenoch Tapia were named to the 14U All-Tournament Team, and Teddy Yarbrough, Patrick Wilson, and Bode Douglass earned honors on the 13U team.


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