S-S Ponies fall just short of World Series bid

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A magical summer for the Southampton-Sussex Pony all-stars came to an end this past Sunday in the East Zone Championships held in High Point, North Carolina. After emerging from the district and sectional tournaments unscathed in prior weeks, S-S faced the difficult task of competing with other East Zone sectional champions and one sectional runner-up, facing teams from The Bronx, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; High Point, North Carolina; and the runner-up in their own sectional championship, Western Tidewater.

S-S opened tournament play on Wednesday, drawing The Bronx as their first round opponent. The game, which saw S-S fall behind early, actually lasted nearly three days. The game was suspended in the fourth inning Wednesday due to rain, with S-S in an 8-2 hole.

The torrential rains that plagued much of the East Coast last week wreaked havoc on the tournament as well, and field conditions were unplayable until Saturday morning, when play resumed. The team from New York was able to extend their lead and held on to defeat S-S 13-2.

The loss sent S-S to the losers bracket, requiring them to play two additional games Saturday in order to stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. They followed up their earlier defeat with a pair of dominating performances that afternoon, defeating Western Tidewater 11-1 and then High Point 20-2, setting up a showdown with the all-stars from Cleveland on Sunday morning.

Despite their outstanding play the day before, the boys from S-S ran out of steam and fell to the team from Ohio, 17-5. Cleveland, which had previously lost to the Bronx 4-3 earlier in the tournament, beat the New York team 14-4 in the first of two championship-determining games Sunday afternoon.

Because each team only had one loss each, they faced off once more with The Bronx coming out on top 4-3, securing a bid to the PONY International World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania. That tournament is scheduled to begin on Friday, Aug. 10.