Encompass Expos 14U Baseball Team Finishes Summer Season Ranked #1 in the Country
The team finished with a 30-1-9 overall record and is ranked #1 in the country by the United States Specialty Sports Association.
DULUTH, Minn. – The Northland was, is and forever will be known as an area that loves its hockey. But a local youth baseball team might be changing that perception to get more kids off the ice and onto the diamond.
The Encompass Expos 14U baseball team just wrapped up their summer season and it was one to remember. The team finished with a 30-1-9 overall record and is ranked #1 in the country by the United States Specialty Sports Association.
“It felt real nice. Never happened to us before. Just feels awesome. We always try to play our best, and when we play our best, we seem to do our best so we get the job done. It’s a lot of fun. We’ve been playing together most of us since we were like eight years old. We know each other pretty well. We’ve got a good bond,” said pitcher/catcher River Freeman.
“The culture that we have within our program is speak softly and carry a big stick. A lot of teams start wondering what’s a Northern Minnesota team doing nationally-ranked? We’re happy to tell them that things have gotten a lot better. And instead of telling them how great we are, we’d rather show them how great we are,” head coach Seth Marsolek said.
And the hope is that this national recognition will continue to grow the sport and get more kids interested in playing baseball.
“There’s a group of baseball-minded people in leadership I think at these different communities. And with that comes the participation rates getting up there. We’re able to have quality teams that compete at a national level based off the fact that so many young kids are playing baseball in our community,” said assistant coach Tom Berrisford.
“Our parents push us all the time and I’m very thankful for them because they give me this opportunity for my whole life. I’ve been playing for seven to eight years now, and it’s the best feeling in the world to be number one,” infielder Tanner Ross said.
The expos will take a few weeks off before they begin their fall season with a pair of tournaments down in the Cities.