Batesville Bats 9U Wins Indiana Future Stars Battle for the Bats
The Batesville Bats 9U won the Battle for the Bats Championship this past weekend in Paoli, IN defeating the DC Cougars out of Oden, IN 6-2 on Sunday.The squad took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the 2nd inning when Dane Dudley led off the inning with a walk. Cayden Drake followed suite with a walk. After a strike out, Jaiden Kuria scored Dudley with a base hit to left.Trailing 2-1 going into the top half of the 5th and final inning due to time reaching its limit, Evan Johnson led off with a walk, followed by a Brayden Maple walk and a Caleb Mohr single to load the bases. The 4 hitter, Dudley was struck by a pitch to bring in the tying run. The Cougars drew the infield in to try and prevent the go ahead run at the plate. Drake hit a hard hit shot to the short stop who threw home to for the first out of the inning and to keep the score tied. Pinch hitter, Preston Blessing, in clutch fashion, hit a hard grounder down the first base line to score Mohr and Dudley for the go ahead runs. Kuria followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Drake and Ethan Schneider reached on an error by the Cougar first baseman scoring Blessing to complete the scoring. Brayden Maple followed up Drake’s solid outing at pitcher by retiring the Cougars in the bottom half of the 5th to seal the championship.In the semi-final contest the Bats gained redemption over Highland (Evansville) with a 12-2 victory. Ethan Lacey was 2-2 with a run scored and 2 RBI. Brayden Maple was solid on the hill pitching 4 innings allowing 3 hits and the two earned runs.The team played the 8:00 AM contest to start the day due to being the #4 seed out of the 5 participants, playing the 5 seed, the Seymour Owls. The Bats won the contest 10-6 setting up the Final Four later in the day.The previous day was pool play and the young Bats came out flat in losses to the DC Cougars 8-5 and Highland 13-9 sending the team off with thoughts of possible rematches on Sunday, which the team took advantage of to win the title.For the tournament, the team was led in hitting by Ethan Lacey who hit .429, while Cayden Drake hit .375 with 6 runs scored and Kuria also at .375. The team was led in pitching with solid performances by Brayden Maple who pitched 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 3 earned runs, striking out 10 and only walking 1. Cayden Drake went 4 1/3 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 earned run, striking out 4 and walking 2.The team has now participated in 5 tournaments, with two titles, two runner-ups and one final four appearance against some great competition covering all of Indiana and SW Ohio. The squad will be off on Memorial Day and resume the first weekend in June by playing in the 2nd Annual Bulldog Classic in Batesville where they will take an overall record of (18-6) into tournament play.Courtesy of Coach Paul Drake.