Playing its best baseball of the season, the Gardner Bruins 12-A USSSA team recently won the state title at Blue Valley Sports Complex.
In first round action, the nine-seed Bruins turned back the Wellsville Eagles, 16-0. The Bruins dominated the game behind the pitching of Dylan Jacobs.
In similar fashion, the Bruins beat the Fort Scott Hounds 20-2 in second round pool play. Quinton Johns and Brooks Langrehr pitched and an Austin Brewer grand slam helped seal the win.
Next came bracket competition, where the Bruins improved to a number one seed. The Bruins lived up to the ranking, turning back Fort Scott 11-3, and then turning back the Blue Valley Cyclones, 12-2. Cayden Elder had two hits and four RBIs in the game.
In Elite 8 action, the Bruins beat the Building Champions 13-5. Leading the 13-hit performance was Trenton Bryan. Kellen Kueser earned the save with three excellent innings of relief pitching.
In game two, Gardner posted an 11-3 victory over Fort Scott with Langrehr and Gavin Young combined for a three hitter. Kueser and Langrehr had two hits apiece.
The Gardner team faced the Meridan Chaos in the title game. The Bruins fell behind 3-0 early, but rallied seven straight runs to take a 7-3 lead into the final inning.
The Chaos fired back scoring two, before lining into a double play. The Bruins’ catcher clinched the state title with a throw-out at second base.
Members of the State champion Bruins were Austin Brewer, Brooks Langrehr, Cayden Elder, Dylan Jacobs, Gavin Young, Kallen Kueser, Maddox Decker, Nate Gregg, Storm Frazier, Quinton Johns and Trenton Bryan.