Coached by Jeff Paine, the Westside Sluggers 11 year old baseball team took third place at the state tournament last weekend. Submitted photo

The Westside Sluggers 11 year old baseball team brought back a third place finish from the twenty team state tournament held last week at 3&2 stadium in Lenexa.
After an opening 8-7 loss to the Topeka Storm, the Sluggers rebounded with a great team effort to turn back the Reapers of Tecumseh 18-2.
Seeded seventh out of twenty teams, the Sluggers got a game winning hit by Bradyn Granger to defeat the Strike Zone Outlaws 5-4 in first round pool play.
Those pool play victories placed the Westside Sluggers in a second round game against Junction City Brigade. Pitchers Aiden Wooley and Shai Kalthoff had a great game. The team got a homerun by Ethan Gilmore to win 8-4.
However, the state title trek ended with a tough loss to eventual champion Abilene Outlaws. The loss failed to overshadow an excellent pitching performance by Even Slife.
“I’m so proud of this team,” said Coach Chris Paine. “They came together so well for just playing together one year. We finished in the top 10 in the state and everyone can’t wait till next year.”