Hornets hold on for title
Thanks to an eight-game winning streak at the end of the season, the Baldwin City Hornets 13-14 year-old baseball team won the regular season championship of the nine-team Lawrence Houk-Ice League with a 20-4 record. The Hornets also won the league's post-season tournament, beating the Lawrence White Sox 8-3 in Monday's championship game. The Hornets overall record, including the regular season and two tournaments is 29-7.
"I'm really proud or the young men," said John Fuller, Hornet head coach. "Not just because they won the championship, but also for the way they represented Baldwin City baseball. They played very hard every game, never gave up and continued to improve. The also had a lot of fun."
In the 16-2 win that wrapped up the regular season championship, Brian Wendt had three hits and pitched a complete game. J.D. King added a home run in the 10-run seventh inning. Brian Turk and Wendt each scored four runs in the win.
The Hornets entered last weekend's post season league tournament as the top seed and beat the Cardinals and Mets in opening play on Saturday. Turk and King pitched in the win against the Cardinals, while Wendt and King threw in victory over the Mets.
"The guys went out and took care of business on Saturday and put the team in a good position for the rest of the tournament," said Fuller.
On Sunday against the White Sox, the teams entered the final inning tied at nine, but Baldwin loaded the bases when Wendt was hit by a pitch which scored Andrew Bartlow with the winning run.
"We've had some great games with the White Sox this season and this was another good one," said Fuller. "Once again we found a way to win. Since it was a double-elimination tournament we figured to see the White Sox again in Monday's championship, but they would have to beat us twice."
That proved hard to do. After losing the first game 14-6, the Hornets rebounded and won the second game to claim the title. Turk and Kyle Flory hit solo home runs in Monday's action. Wendt pitched a complete game victory in game two and Bartlow collected three hits.
"It was a great end to a great season," said Fuller. "Baldwin has a lot to be proud of with these young men."