Fairfield All Star teams top State

AIKEN  – Fairfield County Parks and Recreation’s 8U, 10U and 12U All Star baseball teams played in the South Carolina Recreational Baseball Initiative’s State Tournament June 21-23, and all three teams battled to the title game.

While the 10U team finished as State Runner-Up, the 8U and 12U All Stars won state titles for the second year in a row.

8U State Champs – Front (from left)  Front (L-R): Zhyon Woodard, Mason Patrick, Mason Jackson-Nelums, Martez Harrison, Elliott Douglas, Brody Price, Bruno Boulware Jr., Caden Brown, Caleb Sasser, Parker Knight and Martez Turner. Back: Asst. Coach Larry Johnson, Head Coach Tro Hazen, Asst. Coach Ab Hazen.

8U All Stars – Fairfield started the tournament in pool play with a tight 2-1 win in their opening game against Aiken Blue. Trailing 0-1 in the sixth inning, Mason Jackson-Nelums knocked an RBI-triple that tied the game and then scored the winning run on a throwing error.

After taking an early 4-1 lead in the second pool play game, Fairfield’s defense managed to curtail a rally in the seventh inning to take the 4-3 win over North Augusta Black.

Fairfield entered the single-elimination bracket facing North Augusta Black again, but the 8U team blasted its way to an 8-5 win to advance to the semi-finals.

Only a semi-final match up with Aiken Blue stood in the way of Fairfield’s chance to defend its 2018 State Title. Bruno Boulware’s two RBI, walk-off double secured the 10-9 win for Fairfield and placed them in the title game against Mt. Pleasant Blue.

The title game proved to be less taxing than previous games, as big bats in the first inning put Fairfield up by 7 runs. The young team did not look back and cruised to a 14-3 championship win. Fairfield’s Brody Price went 9-9 at the plate on the final day of the tournament, with four singles, three doubles and two triples.

“[The players] battled and fought through and never stopped supporting each other,” head coach Tro Hazen said. “They played with the heart of a champion.”

Hazen knows a thing or two about winning a championship for Fairfield Recreation. Hazen played on the 10U All Star team that won the Palmetto State Championship in 2000. His father Ab, who assisted Hazen this season, was a coach on that same team.

10U State Runner Up – Front (from left): Jayce Edmunds and Dre Walker. Second Row: Kamauri Jones, Chaze Hemphill, Brandon Adams, Alex Rambo, Jay Coleman and Roy King Jr.  Third row: Logan Watkins, Landon Morgan and Zemar Lewis. Back: Asst. Coach Kid Thompson, Head Coach Larry Perry, Asst. Coach Marvin Robertson, Asst. Coach Roe Coleman.

10U All Stars – Head Coach Larry Perry, who also played for Fairfield County, took a 10U All Star team to Aiken determined to redeem itself from the previous year’s 0-3 finish. Fairfield took down five of the six teams they faced in dominating fashion, outscoring their opponents 54-12.

They blasted through pool play, defeating Charleston James Island 6-4 and Charleston West Ashley 17-2 to earn a two-seed entering the single-elimination bracket.

Fairfield blasted their way through the first two rounds of the tournament against Irmo and Charleston Peninsula with a total score of 26-3 before finding a team who could slow their bats.

Fairfield edged North Augusta Gray by a 5-3 margin in the semi-final bout, and faced a tough Aiken Red team in the State Championship.

Aiken Red found a way to curtail the team’s offensive efforts in the title game as Fairfield fell 4-0.

“It was a great ride,” Perry said. “I’m excited to watch [these guys] continue to grow and move on to the next level.”

12U State Champs – Front (from left): Graeme Douglas, Hank White, Nygel Woodard, Ty Belton and Kearisis Simmons. Middle: Robert Thompson, Owen Wilson and Markavis Goodwin. Back: Asst. Coach Eric White, Owen Martin, Drew Spires, Charlie Bonds, Asst. Coach Jarrett Douglas and Head Coach Chuck Raley.

12U All Stars – Like the 10U team, Fairfield’s oldest all-star team had big plate appearances throughout their tournament stint, finishing with a perfect 6-0 record and outscoring their opponents 77-24.

Fairfield took down Mt. Pleasant Red and Newberry in pool play and sailed through elimination games with a 16-1 win over Mt. Pleasant Blue and 9-1 win over North Augusta Gray. They took down Aiken Red 12-5 in the semi-final round to go against Columbia Rosewood in the championship game.

Fairfield found themselves in an early 9-0 hole after two innings of play, but a third inning rally ignited by a Charlie Bonds 3-run homer set them on the right track and they took home a 15-10 win and the State Title for the second year in a row.

“Any other team would’ve given up,” head coach Chuck Raley said. “This is the greatest team I’ve ever coached to come back from 9 runs down.”

Bonds blasted three homeruns over the tournament and joined Drew Spires and Owen Martin to lead the team in batting with an average of .667.

“What an amazing weekend,” FC Director Russell Price said. “This two year run in baseball has been amazing. It’s great seeing these coaches, players and parents come together in such a positive way.