Cleveland West won two games by defeating Cleveland East 17-2 and the Indianola All-Stars 12-2 to win the district title and advance to the Dixie Youth AA (8-year-old) State Tournament as a No. 1 seed beginning on July 12 in Pascagoula. Out of the 12 players on this year’s Cleveland West team, 11 of them were members of the Cleveland West team that won the 7-year-old State Tournament last year.
Cleveland West, who went a perfect 5-0 in the district tournament, outscored its opponents 83-11 to advance to state.
In the first game of the night against Cleveland East, Cleveland West jumped on top early and kept the pressure going through the entire game. The game came to a close after four innings due to the mercy rule.
Carter Connell tagged three hits and scored three runs to lead Cleveland West at the plate, followed by Caleb Carter with two hits and two runs, Austin Batts, Brandon Ware and Jake Smith with a hit and two runs each and Caleb Dodd, Marshall Brown and Collin Russell with a hit and a run each.
Tony Bradley Jr. led Cleveland East at the plate with two hits and a run, followed by Jaryn Kelly with two hits and Rufus Jackson with a hit.
In the championship game against Indianola, Cleveland West continued to swing the bats as the team scored double figures in runs for the fifth consecutive game. The game came to an end after five innings due to the mercy rule. Four of Cleveland West’s five wins came under the mercy rule.
Connell led Cleveland at the plate again with three hits and two runs, followed by Batts with two hits and a run, Michael Morris and Patrick Hayze Bramuchi with a hit and two runs each, Brown with two runs, Smith and Russell with a hit and a run each, John Brennan Capocaccia with a hit and Brandon Ware with a run.