Napoleon (OH) ties record with third BP Invitational title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 30, 2019

BP Invitational

Championship Game: Napoleon (OH) 12, Auburn (RI) 1

The Post 300 River Bandits tied the BP Invitational record with their third tournament title, thanks to Austin Lichty's complete game and eight players driving in runs in the championship at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Napoleon (19-9) banged out 13 base hits, with Zac Brickel's two-run double pushing the lead to 5-0 and opening the flood gates in the fourth inning as the River Bandits scored seven runs to go up 9-0.

 

They put immediate and immense pressure on the Gershkoff Post 20 Rhode Island pitcher, loading the bases but not scoring in the first inning and putting runners at first and third and not scoring in the second inning.

 

Napoleon again loaded the bases in the third inning, and this time scored on Jacob Smith's infield single to make it 1-0. That run snapped the Rhode Island team's 17.2-inning tournament scoreless streak. And again, the damage was limited.

 

But that all changed in the fourth inning, when the River Bandits batted around and blew the game wide open.

 

Smith's second RBI made it 6-0 and it was 8-0 on Landon Willeman's RBI single. A double steal made it 9-0. They plated another four runs on a night when 12 players had either a hit, run or RBI.

 

Willeman - a Bowling Green University D1 commit - was named BP Invitational Most Valuable Player after a fabulous showing in all facets of the game. He is Napoleon's first BP MVP since 2013 selection Dylan Hendricks.

 

This Rhode Island team came into the title game having given up just 4 runs in 28 innings, with back-to-back shutouts.

 

Pinch-hitter Massimo Feroce - who pitched one of those shutouts earlier in the tournament - drove in his team's lone run with an RBI single in the fifth inning. By then, though, the outcome was far out of reach.

 

Napoleon is the second team to win a third BP Invitational championship since Columbia Post 19 Tennessee, which won in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

 

Top Pitcher Award

Cam Harris, Auburn Post 20 Rhode Island

This ace dealt a beauty of a performance in the semifinals, needing just 97 pitches to craft a 4-hit shutout. He had seven strikeouts in seven innings. He handed Juneau its first loss of the summer and its first shutout in three years.

 

Gold Glove Award

Justin Nevells, Chugiak Post 33 Mustangs

In a tournament made up of defensive gems, this shortstop sparkled the most. He showcased remarkable range, quick hands and a good arm. He finished among the tournament leaders with 10 assists, two double plays and a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) on 22 total chances.

 

Big Stick Award

Thomas Barbieri, Auburn Post 20 Rhode Island

As the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, you expect production. This catcher crushed it. He led the tournament with nine hits. He led the tournament with a .643 batting average. He had two hits in four of five games.

 

Most Valuable Player Award

Landon Willeman, Napoleon Post 300 River Bandits Ohio

Whether he was hitting, pitching or fielding, this dude delivered. He batted .500 with a home run from the leadoff spot. He made just 1 error on 21 total chances at shortstop. He struck out a tournament-high 11 batters on the mound. He was a finalist for all four awards, but since he can't win everything. He was named MVP.