A team from the Boys & Girls Club of Venice has captured the junior baseball division championship of the 2013 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series, winning the club’s fourth RBI World Series baseball championship in five years.
Venice defeated Santo Domingo RBI 2-0 in seven innings at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, Aug. 8. The Venice club finished the tournament with a 5-1 record, including a 10-0 victory over Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket RBI in the semifinal round.
The RBI program, which is in its 25th year of operation, is administered by Major League Baseball and is designed to give young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic achievement and success, and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.
Boys & Girls Club of Venice starting pitcher Jay Sterner was named the most valuable player of the junior baseball division championship game after he tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout, striking out three Santo Domingo batters and walking one. He retired 19 of the 23 batters he faced and only allowed one base runner to reach second base.
Sterner also reached base all three times at bat with three walks. During the tournament, he recorded a 0.70 earned run average (ERA) over 10 innings pitched, picking up one win and a save. At the plate, he finished with a .333 batting average.
Fifteen alumni from the RBI program were selected in the 2013 MLB Player Draft, including New York Mets first-round pick Dominic Smith (11th overall) and Philadelphia Phillies first-round pick J.P. Crawford (16th overall), who are both alumni of the Boys & Girls Club of Venice RBI program and the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton.