TOP ROW: Dawson Paine, Dylan Swihart, Keegan Brownell, Dawson Reeve, Alex Dilley, Anthony Quinn BOTTOM ROW: Taylor Brownback, Jeff Ebeck, William Hann, Dawson Donovan, Luke Richards Submitted photo
Using solid pitching and defense, the Westside Sluggers brought back a USSSA 16 year old and under boys state baseball title from 3&2 Stadium in Lenexa last week.
After a first round tie versus YBC 16 year olds, the Sluggers defeated the Shawnee Rockets 12-1 and the Monarchs 3-2 to advance in pool play.
As a number three seed in the 18 team tournament, the Sluggers defeated the KC Patriots 3-1 and then advanced to the title match with a 14-7 win over the Athletics.
In the title game, the Sluggers defeated Manhattan 2-1 to win the outright state crown.
“We had great pitching and defense throughout the tournament,” said Coach Billy Hann. “Our main three pitchers struck out 30 batters and we were real proud of the effort.”
William Hann struck out 20 batters in the tournament, while Jeff Ebeck had eight strikeouts and Dawson Donovan had four.
The Sluggers added the state title to an already impressive showing this summer.
The team took second place at the Legends Series and the High School Summer Slam. The team finished third at the Blue Devil Showcase at Kansas City Community College.
After the Freedom Festival, the Sluggers head to Hutchinson to participate in the Kansas Wood Bat Championships July 7. “The kids play as a team,” added Hann. “This might be one of the best Westside Sluggers team we’ve had.”
Assisting Hann are Josh Williams, Dustin Donovan, Stephen Reeve and the team stats keeper is Don Brownback.
Playing for the state champions were Luke Richards, Dylan Swihart, Taylor Brownback, Dawson Paine, Keegan Brownell, Dawson Donovan, William Hann, Alex Dillley, Dawson Reeve, Jeff Ebeck, and Anthony Quinn.