- All-NABF World Series Team: Steve Ross*, Darius Washington, Jake Plata, Jeff Petkac (*Batting Champ)
- 2018: 42-6 (Overall) 22-3 (AAA) 9-1 (AAA 1st Half) 13-2 (AAA 2nd Half) 9-1 (LEBL) 11-2 (Non League)
- 2018 NABF Portland Regional Champions
- 2018 Cuyahoga County AAA Champions (12x Champs: 2007-2018)
- 2018 Victory Park Invitational Champions
Four named to All-NABF World Series team
Ross, Washington, Plata, Petkac earn honors
August 15, 2018
BATTLE CREEK, Mich.—The Blue Sox may have fallen just short at the 2018 NABF World series, losing in the semifinals to the Brunswick Orioles (Md.), 4-3, but four Blue Sox earned accolades in the process. Infielder Steve Ross, outfielders Darius Washington and Jake Plata, and pitcher Jeff Petkac were named to the All-NABF World Series tournament team with Ross leading the way as the tournament’s “Batting Champion.”
Ross led all hitters at the 12-team tournament with a .579 average (11-for-19). He had a hit in each of the team’s five games, including three multi-hit games, one of which was a 4-for-4 game against the defending national champion Buffalo Diesel. Steve had two doubles, one home run, and nine RBI all while playing with significant injuries sustained during his first at-bat of the tournament—an infield grounder that he beat out for a single.
Outfielder Jake Plata also collected 11 hits over the course of the tournament—also one in each game with three multi-hit games—for a .458 average. Jake got the bats started in the tournament opener by going 4-for-5, doubling in the team’s first run to tie the game against West Herr (N.Y.) in the bottom of the first inning.
Left fielder Darius Washington joined Plata and Ross with a hit in all five of the team’s games. Darius hit .429 (9-for-21) and led the team with two home runs, one a blast to deep left center field in the opening game and the other a line drive to left field in the semifinal loss. In that semifinal game Darius was 4-for-5 with three RBI.
Jeff Petkac put the team on his back in the quarterfinals by going the distance for a complete game victory against the two-time national champion Buffalo Diesel. Petkac scattered four hits over nine innings, allowing just three runs while striking out two. All of the runs allowed came in one inning as Jeff was dominant, getting ahead of hitters early and staying ahead all afternoon.
Berea won their tournament opener by run rule, fell just short in game two after having a lead late, and advanced out of pool C in thrilling fashion when a perfect relay cut down the would-be tying run for the second out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Sox beat the Diesel in the quarterfinals before falling to the Orioles in the semifinals.
Pool Play 1: Blue Sox 12, West Herr (N.Y.) 2 (7)
Pool Play 2: Beecher Muskies (Ill.) 6, Blue Sox 5
Pool Play 3: Blue Sox 5, Brooklyn Sports Fever (N.Y.) 4
Quarterfinals: Blue Sox 10, Buffalo Battistoni Diesel 3
Semifinals: Brunswick Orioles (Md.) 8, Blue Sox 6