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State-bound baseballers

 Cubs, Hawgs, Bees advance to TTAB State Tourneys

 By Tony Adams

 Sports Editor

 Last week at Heritage Park was the epicenter of the Texas 5/6 District as three levels of baseball played for the right to play in the Texas Teenage Baseball State Tournaments, being held at different venues starting the week of July 22.


The Senior Midget (10U) division tournament was hard fought, with four Belton teams, two teams from Cameron and one team each from Rogers and Rosebud. All four Belton teams won on the first day. On day two, the Belton Razorbacks overcame an early deficit to defeat to Belton Dodgers to relegate them to the elimination bracket. The Belton Tide used the momentum of a two-out, 3-2 count in the sixth inning grand slam home run by Kannon Minnis to beat the Belton Phillies to drop them into the elimination bracket.


Meanwhile, the Cameron teams went head-to-head to stay alive, with the Yankees eliminating the Astros to set up a date with the Phillies. The Rosebud Bears fell to the Rogers Astros, setting up an Astros-Dodgers match up. Both the Yankees and Astros would fall to the Phillies and Dodgers respectively, leaving just Belton teams in the tourney.


The Razorbacks beat the Tide on Thursday night  6-5 on a walk-off single by Nick Hightower to lift themselves into the championship round and move the Tide to the elimination pool to play the winning of the Phillies-Dodgers match-up. The Dodgers eliminated the Phillies, setting up a late-Thursday match-up with the Tide.


The Tide, fresh from the stinging loss to the Razorbacks, beat the Dodgers to move into the championship game. To win the championship, the Tide would need two straight wins over their maroon-clad counterparts in the Razorbacks.


The Razorbacks stemmed the Tide 16-2 in five innings to win the district title and earn the trip to Temple for the TTAB Midget.


A team that will not be sleeping in their own bed during the T-Ball State Tournament in Emory will be the Belton Bees.


The field was a staunch one, with 14-teams participating. Belton sent eight teams to the tourney, competing in a Belton-heavy, 14-team bracket that featured eight Belton squads. The Bees and the Belton Blue Claws were the only teams that had to play twice the first night, as the Bees won both and Blue Claws went 1-1. They were two of five Belton teams that advanced into the second round. The Bees defeated the Belton Scrappers and Belton Raptors to earn a spot in the championship on Friday night.


The Belton Bats surprised the field as well, as they got knocked into the elimination bracket on day two. The Bats managed to tie four wins together and dispatch the Blue Claws, Belton Scrappers, Belton Sun Devils and Belton Raptors to set up their own opportunity to head to state with two wins.


They pushed around the Bees in the first game of the championship round and the Bats defeated them to set up the tournament final.


However, the Bees stung the Bats early and often in the final game, clipping the Bats 22-5 to punch their ticket to Emory and the state finals starting on Monday.


The Cinderella story of the Heritage Park site was located in the Machine Pitch division. Belton fielded six teams into the field, as Rogers fielded two.


The first night saw the Belton Aces, Rogers Marlins, Rogers Eagles, and Belton Jayhawks win their respective opening round games. The Marlins beat the Aces and Jayhawks to earn themselves a finals berth on Friday night. The Jayhawks beat the Eagles, then lost to both of the Rogers’ teams to finish third in the tournament.


The Eagles won three straight elimination games, knocking out three Belton teams to set up an all-Rogers final.


The Marlins knocked off the Eagles in game one to set up a winner-takes-all championship game and a berth in the state tourney in Brownwood.


In an entertaining game on the field, the Eagles prevailed from the consolation bracket to win the tournament 20-16. The Eagles went 6-1 for the tournament, winning five straight.

In Troy, the Belton Cubs won the District 5 title going 4-0 in bracket play and clinched the berth with an 18-7 victory over the Belton Twins to advance to the TTAB State Championship in Ennis