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2018 Pinto International Baseball Classic

Paradera, Aruba and Lawrenceville, Illinois both entered the championship game of the 2018 Pinto International Baseball Classic undefeated with identical 6-0 records. Both teams' offenses had been prolific all tournament long, averaging over 10 runs per game. 

The championship game lived up to expectations, as both teams battled into the late innings of the game. In the top of the fifth inning with one out, Lawrenceville's Wade Keepes scorched a ball down the third base line and ended up with a triple. On the next at-bat, Justin Herron brought Keepes home with a single, getting Lawrenceville within a run (4-3). Following a pop out, Carson McCullough doubled to center field, advancing Herron to third. Unfortunately for Lawrenceville, a ground out ended what could have been a big inning, as two runners in scoring position were left stranded.

It was then that Paradera took control of the game. Lee Tai Keng, Omar Gonzalez Correa and Zylon Rafine hit back-to-back-to-back doubles, extending Paradera's lead to 6-3. Justino De Leca singled, which advanced Rafine to third, before Ansheal Berkel knocked a ground ball into right field that scored Rafine (7-3). Berkel scored the final run of the inning, when Sicnarf Kelly also drove a ground ball into right field.

Lawrenceville had one last chance in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Westin Floyd and Brayden Carie singled, and Ross Moore brought them both home with a double to center field (8-5). But a pop out ended the rally and the game.

Kelly paced Paradera with three hits, including a triple. Four others in the Aruba lineup collected two hits, including Rafine, who had two doubles. For Lawrenceville, Herron, McCullough and Moore led the team with two hits apiece, while Moore led the team with two RBI. 

Paradera won its first-ever Pinto International Baseball Classic title. This year marks the first title for an international team, following Chesterfield, Virginia and Garner, North Carolina's championships in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Tournament Stats

Champion: Paradera, Aruba

Finalist: Lawrenceville, Illinois

Consolation Champion: Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Consolation Finalist: Manila, Philippines

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