Baldwin squad does well at state
Hillsboro -- The Baldwin Bulldawgs 10 year-old boys' select tournament team headed for the NBC "Hap" Dumont Kansas state tournament in Hillsboro Saturday July 12, with more than a few question marks. According to coach Todd Hoffman, "not only had we never faced this level of competition, our starting second baseman was injured and unable to play, plus we had three new faces to work into the lineup. We did know one thing ... it was going to be hot."
With temperatures reaching the 100s, the Bulldawgs started off cold, dropping their first game Saturday morning to Wichita's West Urban Rowdies 10-6. On the brink in double elimination play, the Bulldawgs proved their mettle, battling back to record three straight victories before bowing out Monday night in the quarterfinals to Wichita's USSSA-AAA Diamondbacks 18-5.
"Our kids really showed what great competitors they are, pulling out clutch wins against more experienced teams," said Hoffman. "The future of Baldwin baseball looks really solid with these players coming up."
After Saturday morning's opening loss, the Dawgs relied on stingy defense and overpowering pitching from Matt Wade and Josh Hoffman, who combined for eight strikeouts, to defeat Wichita's West Urban Orioles 8-7, Saturday night. The Bulldawgs then turned it around Sunday, fueled by clutch hitting from Hoffman and Landon Ausherman, to defeat Wichita's SWBC Cobras 4-3 and Topeka's Ken Berry Angels 14-4 to reach Monday night's quarterfinal contest against the Diamondbacks.
"We didn't hit the ball well Saturday," said Hoffman. "But, our bats woke up a bit Sunday. Against the Cobras we played some of our best team ball all season to come from behind and win."
It wasn't enough to carry the Bulldawgs past the Diamondbacks.
"The game was close through four innings, but we simply ran out of gas against a very good team," he said. "Our boys really proved something, going 20-0 in DCABA league play, then coming to state and reaching the quarterfinals. It's been an exceptional season."
In compiling their 25-4 season and tournament record, the Dawgs outscored opponents 413 to 152.
The select 10-year old Bulldawgs are: Landon Ausherman, Drew Balster, Nathan Growcock, Chad Hitchings, Josh Hoffman, Josh Holland, Jesse McDaniels, Kyle Pattrick, Ryan Rogers, Andrew Sutton, Matt Wade and Brian Wright.