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Submitted by Leah Roberts
The Missouri Bulldogs 14U traveled to the USSSA 14U AAA State Championship in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 19-21.
The Bulldogs were one of twenty-two 14U USSSA teams in the state vying for a chance at the title in Kansas City.
The Bulldogs began pool play on Friday, June 19, going 1-0-1 and beating the #2 team in the state 3-0. They closed pool play out beating the KCBA Knights Black 8-0.
Seeded third out of twelve teams, the Bulldogs got a first round bye and had to win two games to get to the championship on Sunday. The Missouri Bulldogs bean the Missouri Elite 5-2 led by a 2 RBI performance from Brady Lowe of Quincy. The semi-final game started slow for the Bulldogs, where they found themselves down 0-4 in the bottom of the third. Aneyas Williams of Hannibal started the rally with a solo HR, while Zander Johnson of Kahoka tied it at 4 on a single.
Ryland Roberts of Knox City, earned the win on the hill and the Bulldogs went on to beat Mac N Seitz 14U 9-4 to advance to the title game at 12 p.m. Standing in the way of hoisting the trophy in Kansas City was the #1 ranked team in the state, the Midwest Scorpions.
To no surprise the pitching was strong on both sides, the Bulldogs struck out eight while the Scorpions fanned seven of their own. The first run of the game came in the top of the third inning when Williams scored on a Johnson ground out to the short stop. The Scorpions scored in the bottom half following a lead-off walk and a single. Brydon Allison of Camp Point walked in the go ahead run in the bottom of the third to make it 2-1 in favor of the Scorpions. Zander Johnson of Kahoka came in as relief for the Bulldogs and pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.
Brady Lowe reached on an error and Brydon Allison singled as Aneyas Williams singled to tie it at two in the top of the 4th. Zander Johnson homered in the top of the fifth to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
The Scorpions had one last chance in the bottom half of the seventh. A leadoff single and passed ball had the Scorpions tying run on second with 0 outs when a failed bunt attempt led to the runner getting thrown out at third by Cole Peterson of Cam Point. From there the Bulldogs shut the door with Aneyas Williams getting the save. The Bulldogs finished the weekend 5-0-1 and hoisting the State Tile in Kansas City.
Although their record shows a lot at 24-3-1, Coach Waterman said, “These guys have really bought in to the program and really believe in We>I (We are greater than I), that has kind of been our motto lately and the guys are having fun and winning TOGETHER.”