Champions are crowned

Alpena Green wins 12U Cal Ripken title

News Photo by James Andersen Alpena Green won the 12U title during the 2017 Cal Ripken Michigan State Tournament in Alpena. Team members include Adam Brilinski, Ashton Perrin, Blake Grant, Brady Niedzwiecki, Brady Pagels, Evan Krawczak, Hunter Hitzelberger, Jacob Zann, Logan Momrik, Marc Kirchner, Reed Seabase, Trevor Miller, manager Neil Seabase and coaches Josh Pagels, Steve Zann and Lee Grant.

Winning state titles is starting to become a habit for members of the Alpena Green 12U baseball team.

Alpena powered its way to another state championship on Sunday, defeating Alpena Blue 9-0 in the 12U finals of the 2017 Cal Ripken Michigan State Tournament.

Sunday’s championship marks the third consecutive title for this group of players, who have also won at the 10U and 11U levels.

“It feels pretty good, especially since we’ve worked really hard to get here and we look forward to playing in Kentucky (in regionals),” Alpena Green player Ashton Perrin said. “Team play (was key). We worked as a team, we hit good, played good defense and combined as a team to win.”

Just as it did all weekend, Alpena Green powered its way to the state title on Sunday, hitting six home runs in two wins on Sunday. Alpena Green defeated Alpena White 24-1 in the semifinals.

For the weekend, Alpena Green finished 5-0, won all but one of its games by double digits and generally played all-around solid baseball to win it all.

“It’s great. We put in a lot of hard work. We start in January with this team and we’ve seen dramatic improvements in the way we field and the way we hit,” Alpena Green manager Neil Seabase said. “It’s going to help us going forward and we’re excited to play.”

Early on in the final Alpena Green scored runs without power, playing station-to-station baseball to build a lead. In the bottom of the first inning, Logan Momrik and Marc Kirchner hit back-to-back RBI singles and Momrik later came around to score on a passed ball to give Alpena a 3-0 lead.

The power came later. With no outs and two runners on in the bottom of the fourth inning, Trevor Miller smashed a three-run home run to put Alpena Green ahead 6-0.

After Reed Seabase singled in a run in the bottom of the fifth, it was Perrin’s turn to go yard as he hit a two-run shot to up Alpena Green’s lead to 9-0.

“From a hit standpoint we really pride ourselves on that,” Seabase said. “We’ve hit as a team, just in tournaments this year, about 37 home runs and that really changes the dynamic on how people can pitch to us. Our lineup is pretty well stacked and it’s tough to get around.”

That proved to be true in the semifinal too as Alpena Green built a 15-1 lead after one inning.

Momrik and Kirchner both hit grand slams in Alpena Green’s first turn at the plate as Alpena batted around at least twice.

Seabase and Adam Brilinski each had a two-run single and Seabase and Jacob Zann each had an RBI single.

Alpena Green added two runs in the second inning before finding more power in the third inning. Alpena scored another seven runs in its final turn at bat, led by another grand slam from Kirchner and a solo home run from Miller.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.