The Redwood Giants 10Us maintained their perfect year with another tournament championship this past weekend, going 6-0 at the Youth World Series in Reno.
The tournament title was the third of 2023 for the local travel club team, which is made up of players from Redway to McKinleyville and is now 17-0.
However, the Giants had to battle particularly hard for this one, edging the Elite Baseball Club out of the Bay Area 9-8 in the championship game.
“They’re so bonded and connected together,” the coach said. “It doesn’t matter if we fall behind, they never get down on themselves, they never get down on each other, and I think that’s a big reason we’ve been able to come back in some of these games.”
All 10 players who traveled for the weekend tournament played a big role in the team’s success, including the Giants’ youngest player.
Nine-year-old Treyce Conley hit a key three-run home run in the second inning of the championship game — one of three for the team in tournament play — as the Giants overcame an early deficit.
The young Conley, who plays left field, would finish the tournament with eight RBIs, which was second best on the team.
Several other players also played a huge role at the four-day tournament, including the team’s four all-tournament selections — Parker Morgan, Graham Gaser, Parker Blasi and Ryder Sweeney — the latter two of whom also hit home runs in tournament play.
Sweeney, Morgan and Grant Banducci each also played a key role pitching.
“They were the three bulldogs for us,” Tyler Conley said of the three aces.
Morgan was particularly effective with his all-around play and accounted for 20 runs over the six games while batting .800.
Banducci led the team in RBIs and had an impressive .600 average at the plate, while Grady Crosswhite and Bradley Plotz epitomized the team’s clutch play with a number of timely base hits.
“Every time we needed a big hit, Grady was there for us,” the coach said of Crosswhite. “He was our Mr. Clutch.”
Plotz enjoyed this best tournament of the year.
“He was another one who had a lot of big hits for us,” Tyler Conley said.
Gaser, meanwhile, helped set the tone for his team defensively from behind the dish.
“He was like a wall back there,” the coach said of the young catcher.
In right field, Kaden Haskell made some big plays in the championship game, which proved to be key in the victory.
He also scored the winning run in the semifinal on a passed ball.
Middle infielder Lucca Pinochi also made some big plays and was “like a vacuum at second base all tournament,” according to the coach.
Pinochi made nine outs in one game alone.
The tournament also included a series of skills challenges competitions, with Morgan placing first in the 40-yard dash and second in both velocity and the home run derby.
The Giants will be back in action at this weekend’s Six Rivers Kings tournament, one of two travel team tournaments scheduled for Humboldt County this month.