Seattle Studs steal the crown from Truckers at GFI
The Seattle Studs defeated the Lewiston Truckers on Monday at James Donaldson Park in Grand Forks to win the thirtieth running of the Grand Forks International Baseball tournament (GFI) and the $18,000 first place prize that goes along with it, ending the Truckers quest to win back-to-back-to-back GFI crowns. The underdog Studs scored and scored often, baffling the defending champions to take the game 6-0, but it was ultimately their young fire-baller JT Zink who won the game for them. Zink held the Truckers to three-hits over nine complete innings, striking out six while only walking one, to not only win the game but also the award as the tournament’s most valuable player. Zink finished the tournament with two wins over 15 innings pitched. This was the first GFI victory for the Studs since the 2001 tournament, and the sixth time in thirty tournaments that a team from Seattle has won the event; one less than the Lewiston Truckers record of seven GFI tournament titles. Lewiston’s second place finish garnered the baseball club a $9,000 payday. Other results from the historic 30th Grand Forks International Baseball tournament had the Idaho Warriors and the San Diego finishing in third and fourth place taking home $4,000 apiece. Idaho finished the round robin play with a 3-win, 0-loss record beating the Thurston County Senators 3-2 in the quarter finals. Idaho moved on to the semifinals where they eventually lost 5-4 to the Studs. San Diego finished the round robin play with a 2-win, 1-loss record but upset Team Canada in the quarter-finals 6-5, ultimately losing to the Truckers 7-5 in the semifinals. Team Canada and Team Russia both finished the round robin play with identical 2-win 1-loss records; however both teams lost in the quarter-finals to finish the tournament in fifth and sixth place. The Trail Orioles and the Senators rounded out the top eight money round participants. The Grand Forks Blues, the Kelowna Jays, the Victoria Mavericks, and the Kamloops Sun Devils did not escape the round robin play and ultimately finished 9 through 12.
With the 30th Grand Forks International Baseball tournament now on the books, only time will tell what the 31st tournament will have in store.