Thursday, June 30, 2011

Congrats to Southern's Class A Majors Baseball Champions!

An improbable tournament run that began with a heartbreaking loss and ended with an 8-1 Southern victory finished on Wednesday night at Southern's East Field.

Coach Matthew Sullivan's Majors team, coming off a 12-1 regular season, defeated Zeeland in a game filled with excitement and watched by hundreds. Two weeks ago, the team sponsored by Treadstone Mortgage lost a tough 3-1 decision at the hands of Byron Township. They then went on to win 7 games in 10 days to labor through the loser's bracket of the Class A District 9 Majors tournament.

Members of the team were:
Dane Addington
Brett Bauman
EJ Sullivan
DeShawn Dykhouse
James Murray
Rashon Adams
Emmett Warners
Teddy Russo
Jackson Reid
Matthew Winkle
Kyle Cornetet
Max Israels

The success for the Treadstone Crushers began on Monday, June 20 with a 7-3 win over Lowell, followed with a win over Grandville 4-0 on Wednesday, a 9-4 victory over Pinery Park on Thursday, and continued with a 6-3 decision over Western on Saturday. On Monday, the team faced the same Byron team that had beaten them earlier in the tournament and defeated them 4-3 thanks to a masterful pitching performance by Jackson Reid and Matthew Winkle and a 3-run first inning towering home run by Teddy Russo. Reid scored the game winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth.

The next day Coach Sullivan's squad travelled to Zeeland to face the previously undefeated Zeeland team. The team never gave up hope when they were down 6-0 after 3 innings, rallying for two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth thanks to an Emmett Warners two-run home run. In the sixth, after Winkle had struck out the side in the top of the frame, EJ Sullivan singled to start the inning which brought up Warners again. On the 8th pitch of the at-bat, he homered again to right-center field and bedlam ensued.

On Wednesday in the championship game, Zeeland came to the friendly confines of Southern Little League and although the faces were friendly, the Southern bats did not greet them warmly. Russo went deep in the second inning, making the score 5-0. Zeeland's lone run came in the fifth on a leadoff homer. As the Zeeland player rounded first on his home run trot, Max Israels, Treadstone's second baseman, gave the player a high-five of congratulations, displaying true Little League sportsmanship.

EJ Sullivan was a beast on the mound throughout the game, keeping the hitters off balance all evening. Matthew "Papa Grande" Winkle came in to close the deal, securing the final four outs. Treadstone's final run came on a Kyle Cornetet double which plated Israels in the sixth to complete the scoring.

Immediately after the last out was made, about 50 of Southern's other players stormed the field to congratulate the winners. It was an awesome scene.

Congratulations to Coach Sullivan and the Treadstone Mortgage Crushers for a great tournament run and for a District 9 Class A Majors Championship.