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NEB Comes in 2nd Place at the WWBA Underclass Championships

By NEB, 10/05/22, 9:15AM EDT


Below is the article written after the championships from Perfect Game USA at


JUPITER, Fla. – Power Baseball 2024 Marucci lived up to its name in the championship of the WWBA Underclass World Championship, putting a 10-spot up on the scoreboard and winning by a 10-2 final over NEB.

Evan Taveras got the fun started for Power Baseball in the bottom of the first inning, doubling to center field and scoring Austin Jacobs, who had singled prior to Taveras’ at-bat.

NEB briefly took the lead with a two-run third inning. Oliver Service singled on an 84 mph fastball to start the inning, and was followed by a Matt Conte walk. Watson Mexico doubled to bring home Service to tie the game, and Luke Gallo singled home Conte to give NEB the advantage.

Three runs for Power Baseball in the bottom half of the frame gave them the lead right back, though, and they wouldn’t let it go again.

A walk and hit-by-pitch put two runners on with one out, when Anthony Wilkie tripled to score two, proving to be the game-winning knock. Kaiden Lopez, who threw the first 2 1/3 innings on the mound for Power and also homered in the game, singled home Wilkie to move the score to 4-2.

Blayke Rabens was tasked with taking over on the mound after Lopez, and earned the win in the process. Coming into the game in the third inning with a pair of runners on base and NEB already taken the lead in the frame, Rabens got a punchout and ground out to end the damage, then tossed the next two innings without allowing a run and just one hit, striking out a pair.

The fifth inning was the back breaker, and championship-clinching inning for Power Baseball. Wilkie got plunked with the second pitch of the inning, and Lopez took the next pitch deep to push the lead to 6-2. Jack Waddingham and Maddix Simpson followed with back-to-back singles, and Mason Mojica walked to load the bases with no outs. Tyler Head kept the line moving with an RBI single to right field to move the score to 7-2, Cooper Collins hit into a fielder’s choice that made it 8-2, and a Taveras single into center field scored Mojica and Collins to walk off the game in run-rule fashion.

Lopez was named the MVP of the tournament for Power Baseball. The uncommitted prospect from Orlando hit .571 on the weekend (8-for-14) with a pair of home runs and nine RBI, while striking out just once in 17 plate appearances.

Talan Bell earned MV-Pitcher honors for Power Baseball. The Florida State commit was entirely dominant in his one outing at the WWBA Underclass World Championship, tossing four innings and striking out 10 while allowing just one hit and no walks.