The 9U Crusaders finished their magical 2016 season by being selected to compete in the Demarini -Disney Elite 32 tournament held in Orlando, Florida July 23-30th at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
The 9U Crusaders (Major) were poised and determined to showcase their talents on the “big stage” and deliver with a strong performance to represent our area of East Tennessee….and did just that!
The 9u Crusaders posted a 2-1 record in pool play to start the tournament. The first day of competition, the 9U Crusaders were tasked with a head to head matchup against the #8 ranked team in the country- All Sports Outlaws (California-North Dublin/Pleasanton) . This game was the highlight of the tournament as the 9U Crusaders won the game in a dramatic comeback/walkoff hit 9-8!
On day 2 of the event, the 9U Crusaders would find themselves in another powerhouse matchup as they would face the Traction Canes -Black out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana at 8AM. The Canes would get the best of the Crusaders posting a 15-4 victory. This game would lead into a matchup in Game 3 with our fellow East Tennessee companions- East Tn Select (Kingsport,TN). The “Battle of Tennessee in Florida” would lead up to the hype with the 9u Crusaders coming out on top in the late innings with a final score of 6-3.
Bracket play would begin on Tuesday with the 9U Crusaders flying high. The 9U Crusaders were paired against the Yalobusha Giants (Oxford,Mississippi) and held the Giants to 3 scoreless innings before an offensive explosion in the late innnings. The Giants posted the win with a score of 9-2.
Day 4 of the tournament would lead into “Win or Go Home” situation for the 9U Crusaders. The 9u Crusaders would face the 9U FPA Eagles out of Millbrook, AL. This game would become a heartbreaker as it saw the 9U FPA Eagles go up 9-1 early. The 9U Crusaders would rally and battle back and find themselves in a 13-12 game going into their last at bat. The FPA Eagles were able to close the win defeating the 9U Crusaders in a ” barnburner” 13-12 ending the 9U Crusaders season. The coaches and parents were so proud of these young men as they “left it all on the field” and battled back posting a strong showing on the biggest stage of them all- The Demarini Elite 32 World Series at Disney World.
From all the Coaches…..It has been a joy to see these young men and their accomplishments this season. We are so Proud of You and it has been a joy watching your development, hard work and efforts all season! We give all the glory to CHRIST and PRAISE HIM for our accomplishments.
Now it is on to our 10U season and tryouts for the 2017 10 Crusaders will be held this Saturday August 6th. Keep working, keep grinding and big things are in store for next year! Great job boys!