The NYO Longhorns 9U team picked up their third consecutive runner up finish of the four tournaments played for the boys of summer. The Longhorns finished second place in the Bulldog Bash in Cumming, GA in a tournament featuring 18 of the Atlanta Metro’s most talented 9U all-star baseball clubs. In a weekend that featured blowout victories, an extra inning nail biting semifinal victory, and a rain delayed championship game the Longhorns illustrated exceptional teamwork, heart, and grit on their way to the runner up finish.
In the opening game of the tournament the Longhorns faced their neighbor to the south the Buckhead Bombers winning 5-4. Will Martiny got the nod for the Longhorns on the mound throwing two scoreless innings, allowing just 1 hit and no runs. Meanwhile, the Longhorns jumped out to a fast start notching 3 runs in the first with savvy base running by Hudson Nelson scoring the horns first run, while Julian Hendrix drove a 2 run double into the gap. Base running was the difference in this contest as Towle Hosmer sealed the victory stealing home in the 3rd.
During the second game of the tournament the Longhorns faced the Sharon Springs Spartans. The Longhorn were active on the base paths in this contest in which they won 10-1, locking in the #3 seed of the Championship Bracket in Sunday Tournament play. Towle Hosmer and Liam Rabideaux combined for a 3 hit 1 run masterpiece racking up a combined 8 strikeouts on the mound. Meanwhile the Longhorns tallied 7 runs in the second inning as Zack Ziolo, Cole Negro, Hudson Nelson, Towle Hosmer, and Julian Hendrix each had RBI’s in the frame.
In the first game of Tournament play the Longhorns faced Druid Hills Sun Devils, where the Longhorns Defensive skill was on display. The Longhorns pitchers (Will Martiny, Hudson Nelson, and Towle Hosmer) gave up just 1 run on 5 hits, while accumulating 7 punch outs. Meanwhile the sure handed dynamic duo of Carson Dietz and Fletcher Black at SS and 2nd Base led the charge anchoring the infield. The Longhorns Offense put 3 runs on the board in both the 3rd and 4th frame with timely RBI by Hudson Nelson, Liam Rabideaux, Fletcher Black, Zack Ziolo, and Cole Negro. The complete performance by the Longhorns resulted in a 6-1 victory sending the Longhorns to the Semifinals to face the Ocee Black All Stars.
In what would become the game of the Tournament the Longhorns fought to victory in 2 extra-inning 3 hour victory over the Ocee Black All Stars 15-13. As the score would indicate the Longhorns bats blistered in this high scoring affair with 2 RBI extra base hits by Julian Hendrix (3 bagger) and Zack Ziolo (2 bagger) and 2 RBI hits by Cole Negro and Carson Dietz. It was a back and forth affair until the mighty Carson Dietz stepped to the plate in the top of the 2nd extra frame lacing a 2 run double down the 3rd base line putting the Longhorns up for good. The never say die Ocee Black All stars were finally put to bed by Julian Hendrix forcing consecutive ground outs to sure handed Fletcher Black, sending the Longhorns to the Championship game to face off in a Championship Game rematch against the Sandy Springs Cyclones.
In the Championship game the Longhorns would face the Sandy Spring Cyclones in a rematch of the Midsummer Classic championship game from the prior week. On no rest the Longhorns jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as singles by Hudson Nelson, Julian Hendrix, Lucas Murphy, and Liam Rabideaux. However, the Cyclones matched the Longhorns toe to toe throughout the game. Despite clutch hits by Holsten Hayes, Carson Dietz, and Julius Thomas the depleted (due to injury) Longhorns came up short 8-6. In a gutsy performance, the Longhorns “showed up” and showed their fans and opponents what they were made of receiving compliments of opposing coach to say “I wish my team had half the heart of your Longhorns”! A true definition of TEAM.