The Batesville Bats 9U won the School’s Out Showdown Championship this past weekend in Edinburg defeating the Indiana Bandits out of Greenfield 11-0 on Sunday.
The squad faced a difficult situation to begin the contest in the top of the first inning when the Bandits had a runner at 2nd with one out. Brayden Maple enticed the 3 hitter from the Bandits to ground out pitcher to first. With two outs, First Baseman, Jaiden Kuria made a fantastic snare down the right field line on the ground and stepped on the bag to send the Bats to their first at bat of the game.
Evan Johnson led of the home half of the inning with a hard hit line drive base hit. Johnson stole second base and was driven in by Caleb Mohr’s base hit up the middle. Mohr advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored after a base hit by Dane Dudley and a throwing error by the short stop sending the Bats to the 2nd inning with a 2-0 lead they would not relinquish.
The Bats did the major damage in the 2nd inning by batting around and scoring 9 runs. 9 walks by the Bandits pitcher aided in the Bats success. Brayden Maple pitches 4 solid innings for the Bats, allowing only 1 hit, walking two and striking out 4.
In the semi-final contest the Bats won a nail biter over the Frankfort Flash 4-3. Entering the contest as the tournament’s #2 seed, the squad scored one in the bottom half of the first after Evan Johnson led off with a double and scored on Jacob Kuria’s triple to right center.
The Flash evened the score in the 4th after the #1 Flash hitter hit a triple to the right center alley. After a walk, Jaiden Kuria came on in relief to strike out the side, but only after the Flash tied the score at one when the runner scored on a wild pitch.
The Bats plated two runs in the bottom of the 4th when Cayden Drake, Noah Weigel, and Preston Blessing loaded the bases by reaching on walks. Ethan Schneider scored Drake with the go ahead run with a ground out to the Flash first baseman. Ethan Lacey reached on the next at bat with an error on the short stop making the score 3-1 Bats heading into the 5th.
The Flash scored one in the 5th to make the score 3-2. The Bats added a key insurance run in the bottom portion of the 5ht when with one out, Mohr doubled to left field and scored later on a wild pitch setting up the dramatic 6th and final inning.
The Flash led off the inning with a walk. After a hard hit line drive to Mohr at second base for the first out of the inning, the Flash loaded the bases with two more consecutive walks. A wild pitch scored the lead-off batter to make the score 4-3 Bats. The next play became critical. Maple fielded a slow grounder up the first base line and fired home to Johnson for the tag to prevent the runner from tying the score. After another walk and a 1 ball and 0 strike count on the batter, the Manager Drake, called on Ethan Lacey for the save, and he didn’t disappoint. He enticed the hitter to fly out to himself to send the team to the championship.
The team played at 9:00 AM to begin bracket play on Sunday and defeated the Indian Fusion 8-0. Landon Raver was solid on the mound with 4 shut-out innings, allowing only 1 hit, walking 2 and striking out 3.
The previous day was pool play and the squad earned a victory to start the tournament over the Columbus Crush, 10-1 and a hard fought contest over the Edgewood Bulldogs 10-7.
For the tournament, the team was led in hitting by Caleb Mohr who hit .400 with 6 runs scored and 3 RBI’s; Ethan Schneider also hit .400 with 4 runs scored and Cayden Drake hit .375 with 6 runs scored, 2 RBI’s and 2 doubles. The team was led in pitching with solid performances by Maple who pitched 7 innings, allowing 0 runs, 2 hits in 24 opponent at bats, walking 3 and striking out 11. Drake pitched 5 innings allowing 3 hits in 19 at bats, allowing 2 earned runs, walking 3 and striking out 6. Jaiden Kuria was also solid pitching 4 innings allowing 2 hits in 14 at bats, 2 earned runs, walking 3 and striking out 9.
The Bats overall record on the campaign moves to (23-6) and will be in action next in Columbus June 10th and 11th for the USSSA Summer Frenzy.
Courtesy of Coach Paul Drake.