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|The Inspiration Academy Lions baseball club competed in the 2014 18U Winter Nationals held at Walter Fuller Complex on January 20th. The Lions finished runner-up and secured an invitation to the 2014 National Championships to be held June 6th-8th in Richmond, Virginia.
The Lions battled through 4 games of pool play to reach the semi-final game vs. Schaumburg Seminoles from Illinois, winning 7-1. Lions starting pitcher, Payton Jenkins, threw 4 innings, striking out 6 batters and allowing 4 hits and just 1 run to secure the win for the Lions. Tristan Nichols pitched the final three innings to shut down the Seminoles, giving up 2 hits and no runs. Danny Contreras had two hits, an RBI, and scored twice. Jenkins had a 2 run single to lead the team in hitting.
In the championship game vs. New Rochelle, NY, Danny Contreras pitched 5 innings, striking out 4, and gave up just 3 hits and 2 runs. Michael Delisi, in relief, pitched a perfect 6th facing 3 hitters. Shane Rexford scored both runs for Inspiration Academy and Danny Contreras had an RBI double in the 6th to tie the game. With the score tied 2-2, bases loaded, and two outs in the bottom of the 7th, the New York Tigers scored the winning run on an infield hit to win the championship.
We are extremely proud of our team for their tremendous effort in this tournament. I would like to give a big thanks to my coaching staff, Jim Friss, Justin Darr and Curt Wilson for all their efforts and to our parents for their great support.
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