Minors Sweep State, Head to World Series

The Minors and coaching staff celebrate last week’s state title win.

The Minors and coaching staff celebrate last week’s state title win.

BLYTHEWOOD (July 27, 2016) – The Blythewood Minors are headed to the Dixie Youth World Series next week, riding a winning streak that took them through last week’s state tournament undefeated. The team of 9- and 10-year olds knocked off Georgetown, Hartsville Northern, Hampton, Lancaster and twice beat McLeod Park en route to the first state title for a Blythewood Dixie Youth team.

The Minors also swept through their District tournament two weeks ago.

“They did great,” head coach Ken Britt said this week. “They played at a very high level and they hit the ball very well.”

The Minors slugged out a .433 team batting average in the state tourney, just 3 points off the tournament record, and their 78 run tally was just 8 runs shy of the tourney record.

Miller Stuck started three games in the state tournament for the Minors, giving up a total of just 6 earned runs. John Rollings broke the championship game against McLeod Park wide open in the sixth with a three-run dinger that gave Blythewood an 8-3 lead. They held off a McLeod rally for an 8-7 victory.

Alex Myers slugged a pair of homers in the Minors’ game 5 win over Lancaster – a two-run shot and a grand slam – while Jackson Bottar set the tables with a pair of doubles in the contest. In game 4 against Hampton, Myers and Rollings each went 3-for-4 at the plate while Landon Penfield was a perfect 4-for-4 as the Minors coasted to an 18-4 win.

The Minors rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat McLeod 15-5 in game 3. In game 2, Blythewood dropped Hartsville Northern 11-2. Rollings had another 3-for-4 day in the win, while Harrison Collins went 3-for-3 and Sammy Franklin went 2-for-3. Jack Sanderson’s three-run triple lifted the Minors to a 7-2 win over Georgetown in the opening game.

The Minors are, no doubt, a solid hitting team.

“It’s a lot of hard work by the kids, the parents and the coaches,” Britt said. “I think it starts with the families first. It’s not the parents driving the kids, it’s the kids wanting to be better. This is a real competitive group. They don’t like to lose. They’ve done a real good job coming together as a team. We preach ‘team before self.’ They bought into that.”

The Minors leave for Laurel, Miss. On Aug. 4 and open play against Virginia on Aug. 6. The competition, Britt said, will only get tougher as the road goes on.

“I expect there will be some very good teams there,” Britt said. “They won their state tournaments, too. But in baseball, you’re playing against the game itself. You play to the best of your ability and let the game develop. If you can leave it all out on the field, every pitch, every play, if you can stay focused, you’ll do well.”

The series will be televised on Fox Sports South. Brackets can be found on Blythewood’s website, www.bybsl.org. To help fund the Minors’ trip, go to https://www.youcaring.com/blythewood-minors-all-stars-606671.


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