Windsor 8U All-Stars advance to regional tourney

Published 6:12 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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The Windsor 8U All-Star baseball team is showing it belongs among the best in a growing field of competition, and it has now qualified for the final tournament of the season.

After recently finishing as runner-up in the four-team 2024 Summer Bash Baseball Tournament, Windsor has now also finished in the top two at the 15-team PONY Pinto (7U/8U) Northeast Super Section Tournament. That placement in the Super Section event advanced Windsor to the PONY Pinto South Region Championship, set to run Friday-Sunday, July 5-7, in High Point, North Carolina.

“Just like last time, I was absolutely thrilled with the way they played baseball,” Windsor Head Coach Jonas Bass said of his players after the Super Section tourney. “Coming out the first two days and not dropping down into the loser’s bracket was absolutely huge.”

The double-elimination Super Section Tournament was held at the Southern Chesapeake Athletic Association complex from Saturday-Wednesday, June 22-26.

Of the 15 teams competing in the tourney, each pulled numbers out of a hat to determine seeding.

Bass shared details on how his team went 4-2 in the tourney.

Windsor opened its run by routing the SCAA All-Stars 14-1 on Saturday, June 22. Later in the day, Windsor defeated the SCAA Thunder 6-4.

On Sunday, June 23, Windsor faced the Smithfield All-Stars and won 10-4.

Windsor fell 11-4 to the Suffolk Surge on Monday, June 24, but bounced back in a big way by winning a rematch with the Smithfield All-Stars on Tuesday, June 25, in the semifinals to advance to the Wednesday, June 26, championship game against the Suffolk Surge.

Bass noted that in the semifinal game, “we scored all of our runs in the second inning, and we were losing 1-0 in that inning. J.D. Presson, Jacoby Johnson and Nolan Kovelkoski strung together three hits for us, and Brooklyn Bryant had a fly out to left field with an RBI to tie the game at 1-1.”

The coach said that after that, “one of my 7-year-olds, Owen Briley, came up to the plate with two outs, tie game 1-1, and he hit a hard ground ball down the third-base line to the fence and cleared the bases with a triple. So Owen Briley had three RBIs to put us ahead, and the final score was 4-3.”

Bass explained that the Smithfield All-Stars scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and final inning, but Windsor was able to thwart the rally, aided by a heads-up play from shortstop Nolan Bass.

“(The Smithfield All-Stars) had runners on first and second, the tying run was on first base, and Smithfield hit a hard ground ball up the middle through the infield,” Coach Bass said. “(The) runner on second scored, (the) ball came in to my shortstop, Nolan Bass, and he was ready to turn and throw the ball home, but the runner from first was headed to third, and he changed and threw the boy out at third base to end the game for us.”

The Windsor All-Stars fell 9-4 to the Suffolk Surge on Wednesday, June 26, but Windsor’s overall performance in the tournament secured it a spot in the PONY Pinto South Region Championship, which will conclude the season.

“The boys played absolutely fantastic baseball,” Coach Bass said.

The coach then took a few moments to share a couple more reasons why he believed his team was so successful in the Super Section Tournament.

“I think most of the reason that we did so well is we just have fantastic fans, and their support for showing up over in Chesapeake and cheering for the kids — that made a big difference,” he said. “And thanks to the great coaches — Ryan Hewitt, Daniel Judkins and Gary Briley.”