World Series Bound!
The Cleveland 9-year-old All-Stars finished second in the Dixie Youth 9U State Baseball Tournament in Hattiesburg this weekend to earn a berth in the Dixie Youth 9U World Series in Ruston, La. on July 20-23.
Cleveland opened the tournament by defeating St. Martin 12-0 on Friday. Cleveland started Saturday on the wrong foot by losing to Mendenhall 11-4 but battled back to beat Walthall 12-8 to advance to Sunday’s action. On Sunday, Cleveland faced Mendenhall again and got revenge by winning a slugfest 13-12 to advance to the championship game against Columbia. Cleveland battled hard but lost to Columbia 9-5 in the championship game.
Cleveland West head coach Joey Mallette said he is proud of the team’s effort this weekend.
“They’re real excited,” Mallette said about his players looking forward to the World Series and finishing second at state. “They worked hard and earned the right to do that. They put in a lot of hard work and it paid off for the team. It’s a lot of fun and enjoyable to coach them and watch them grow. They came up a little bit short but we’re still proud of the effort they put forth.”
As a team, Cleveland swung the bats well and showed great discipline at the plate. Cleveland drilled 44 total hits, walked 30 times and struck out only 28 times in five tournament games.
“Our bats were hot,” Mallette said. “We got a lot of between hits through the infield and a lot of line drives through the gaps. They really did well with the bats.”
Mallette was also proud of Cleveland’s pitching during the tournament.
“We were very accurate with the baseball,” Mallette said. “We had a number of guys that pitched well.”
Mallette’s assistant coaches are Jeff Borganelli and Todd Jeffreys. The players are Barrett Bramlett, Jasper Lewis, Kellen Allen, Morgan McMurry, Walker Cox, Mitchell Jones, Ryan Mallette, William Jeffreys, Christian McKinney, Anthony Stephens and Aiden Borganelli.