Monday, December 08, 2008

That's my boys! Well, two of 'em anyway. Way to go Rick and Cooper! This was the tournament I wrote about a month ago on Rick's birthday 11/08. Even though I'd already heard about their win, I finally got the photos and newspaper article today.
What the article doesn't tell is how, in the top of the 9th inning of the tie game with the Venice Pythons, the team came together for prayer, without any prompting from any adults. (6 innings is all they usually play.) Seems the kid named Jesus suggested they pray, so they prayed, just the kids, no adults involved. Then they won the game and believe it was the prayer that did it.
Hmmm. I'd say that was a big advantage right there! Sure can't hurt to have a praying Jesus on your team! Which one is he, Rick?
He's on the second row, 2nd from the right end, per Rick.

Bulldogs Win State Championship
The Tampa Tribune

Teams don't often go from losing seasons to state champions. But that's what the New Tampa Bulldogs Under-12 baseball team did when it defeated the All Star Red Storm from St. Petersburg 3-1 earlier this month at the AAU Fall Classic Fire Division State Championship in Winter Haven.

After the two teams exchanged runs in the first inning, the Bulldogs took the lead for good in the second as Coleman Etelkozi, James Coviello and Ryan Peeler each drew two-out walks. Etelkozi then scored on a wild pitch to put the Bulldogs ahead.

Joey Nieves threw the first two innings for the Bulldogs in the final, giving up the only run, while Nathan Pearson and Jesus Vega each pitched a pair of shutout innings to close out the game.

The Bulldogs had earned a bye into the quarterfinals after group play, and then defeated the Polk County Gators 3-1 to advance to the semifinals. Then, they needed to go extra inning to defeat the Venice Pythons 6-4 in nine innings. With the game tied at 4 going to the ninth, Nieves singled, and was pinch-run for by Colton King. King was brought home on a double down the first base line by Luke Leonard, and Leonard added an insurance run scoring from third on a wild pitch.

According to team founder and Manager Rick Borden, the Bulldogs had never won more than nine games in a regular season before this fall, when the team won 19. Borden said it gave him a great sense of accomplishment to see the team's improvement."I really feel like there was a great sense of accomplishment to see a team that had only won nine games in each of the past two seasons," Borden said. "It was just a real great sense of pride to see these kids come together and put together one of the better under-12 teams in the state.

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