Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
The 13U and 14U Ruffnecks traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to compete in the 14U CABA World Series, July 10 – 17. Traditionally, it is the final tournament for the 13U Ruffnecks, who have prepared themselves all year for the rigors of challenging baseball. The 14s continue on to the Perfect Game 14U WWBA in Georgia to complete a 14 day road trip. Nonetheless, the 14U CABA World Series is a terrific time for both of the young ‘Necks squads, with great baseball and the excitement of Music City as a backdrop to the experience of traveling with teammates. The 13U Ruffnecks did an exceptional job battling through the heat and the grind of Pool Play in the tournament, ultimately advancing to Championship Bracket Play. In Bracket Play, the 13s staved off elimination with a gritty 3-1 victory behind a complete game effort from Jeff Price. The 13s played 9 games in a period of five days! The pitching staff was terrific with Price, Jackson Emus, Jaylen Bailey, Seamus Barrett, Jack Thorbahn, along with contributions in relief from Evan Sleight and James Dillon. The lineup featured solid catching from Mitchell Schroeder and J.P. Olson. Colin Blasco was locked in at the leadoff spot in the order and played every inning in the outfield. The infield was manned by Dillon at 3B, Andrew Hass and Dante Taylor at SS, and Jack Flynn, who played every inning at 2B. Jeff Price manned 1B with contributions from Thorbahn and Bailey. Jackson Emus, Evan Sleight, and Jaylen Bailey played a solid outfield. Teammate Ben Rounds was with his mates every step of the way, even though he had a season-ending injury in late May.
The 13U year is a challenging, yet highly rewarding season for players who wish to play a lot of baseball. The first experience of playing in the deep south is something Ruffnecks embrace and relish. The memories of the trip to Nashville define the aspirations for players and their future seasons as Ruffnecks and as ball players!
While the Nashville trip is one of the definitive experiences for the 13U Ruffnecks, the 14U squad continues their play at CABA World Series and then moves on to the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Championships at Lake Point in Emerson, Georgia. For the 14s, this continues a demanding summer of travel baseball that has seen the team on trips to Missouri (Premier World Series), Nashville (CABA), and Georgia (WWBA). It is close to an 80 game season for the 14s, who continue to battle as this is written. We will provide updates on their progress.