The 11U Crusaders (Major) simply put…..”Came to Play this weekend” competing in the 12U AA Division Tri-Cities Classic being held at Whitetop Park in Bristol,TN over the weekend …….and Oh was it fun to watch!
If you were at this ballpark this weekend, you witnessed some impressive 12U talent and teams that consisted of teams such as: 12U Stateliners (Bristol,TN), 12U DSB Rebels (Belfry,KY), 12U South Rebels (Kingsport,TN), 12U Abingdon Copperheads (Abingdon,VA) and others.
The 11U Crusaders were bound and determined to prove that size in this game is a valued commodity, but GRIT ….you can’t put a price on. And GRIT was on full display with the 11U Crusaders as they willed their way to victory in route to claiming the championship. The games went as follows:
Game 1- Pool Play 11U Crusaders vs Tribe 12U AA (Kingsport,TN) 17-1
The Crusaders collected 18 hits in this game en route to an impressive opening victory over the Tribe 12 U. Multiple players had multiple hits on the day with CSturgill going 3-3 , MWard 2-2, A Franklin 2-3, N Stoots 2-3, E Larkin 2-3, L Dye 2-3, G Graziano 2-3. C Sturgill collected the win on the mound going 3 innings allowing one run, one hit and 5K’s. ELarkin with one inning pitched for the save.
Game 2 – Pool Play 11U Crusaders vs 12U AA Abingdon Copperheads (Abingdon,VA) 6-2
G Graziano goes 2 2/3 innings in this contest allowing only 2 hits and registering 3K’s for the win. M Ward recorded the last 5 outs in relief to get the save. 11U Crusaders bats were led by MWard with a 2-3 performance. CRowland 1-1, C Sturgill 1-2, T Blankenship 1-1
Game 3- Bracket Play 11U Crusaders vs 12U AA Boone Scrappers (Grey,TN) 7-2
The 11U Crusaders scored 4 runs in the fourth inning with N Stoots, E Larkin, G Graziano & Jacob A all driving in runs en route to win. The 11U Crusaders had 7 hits coming at crucial times in the ballgame to help secure the win. CSturgill went 2-2, K Mundy 1-3, N Stoots 1-2, E Larkin 1-1, L Dye 1-2, J Arnold 1-2. C Sturgill gets the win surrendering zero runs on 4 hits and 2K’s. AFranklin closes the game with the save collecting the last nine outs and collecting 2 K’s. E LARKIN with a monster HR in this contest (1)
Game 4- Bracket Play 11U Crusaders vs. 12U AA Stateliners (Bristol,TN) 8-5
The Epic Rematch was all set and did not disappoint….with the 11U Crusaders finally getting over the hump and collecting its first victory over the 12u Stateliners. The 12U Stateliners are a solid/ well coached team filled with power up and down their lineup. Today, the 11U Crusaders were masterfully able to overcome with clutch situational hitting lead by KMundy going 2-2 at the plate, M Ward 1-2 with 2RBIs, A Franklin 1-2 with 1 RBI, N Stoots 2RBI’s, T Blankenship 1-2 with 1 RBI and C Rowland going 1-1.
M Ward and G Graziano pitched a gem combining to only give up 5 hits total against a strong Stateliners lineup.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME- 11U Crusaders vs. 12U AA DSB Rebels (Belfry,KY) 7-3
A long day was capped with a Championship performance by the fiesty 11U Crusaders. Their opponent was the Dirty Bat Sponsored Rebels out of Belfry, KY. The 11U Crusaders were started off strong in the first inning, 2nd at bat when K Mundy delivered a monster HR to left center field to put the Crusaders up 2-0. The DSB Rebels would tie the game in the bottom of the third inning but the Crusaders would open the lead up in the top of the 5th scoring 4 in route to a 7-3 win and tournament victory.
The 11U Crusaders were lead by G Graziano at the plate going 2-2. K Mundy 1-2 with a HR, C Rowland 1-3, A Franklin 1-3, C Sturgill 1-3.
M Ward pitched a doozy going 3 innings with 6K’s recorded and only allowing 3 Hits. G Graziano closes the deal with 2 innings of work recording 2 K’s and only allowing 1 hit.
Excellent job 11U Crusaders. Next stop: 11U Major South Carolina USSSA Super NIT- Lexington, SC