Kennesaw, Georgia -
The 6-4-3 DP Cougars (9U) squad won the Kennesaw Klassic tournament this past Memorial Day weekend. The tournament win was their second consecutive tournament victory. The Cougars (9U) were 1-1 in pool play, defeating the Acworth Warriors (featuring the pitching of DJ Irizarry and Luke Hvizdak) while losing in heartbreaking fashion, 10-9, to the Boynton Bandits, despite a titanic homerun by Zeke Moore. The loss propelled the Bandits to the #1 seed while the Cougars fell to the #5 seed slot in the elimination bracket.
The Cougars defeated Acworth again by the score of 7-2 in the first bracket game behind strong starting pitching from Brandon Trichell (three innings pitched, no runs) and strong hitting throughout the lineup. The early win in the elimination round set up a rematch with the rival Bandits. After speedy leadoff man Cooper Davidson started the game with a walk and a stolen base, the Cougars scored three quick runs in the first inning before rain caused the teams to have a two hour delay. Starting pitcher Braden Pierce stayed in the game after the delay and held the Bandits scoreless through the first two innings (which included lightning quick catcher, Harrison Weber, gunning down a would-be base stealer at second). The Cougars then exploded with six runs in the third inning sparked by a line drive off the wall by Pierce, a three run homerun to center by Ryan Novak and a two run bomb (HR) by Ramsey Robertson. The Bandits answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame off of Pierce, but were shut down the rest of the final inning by Novak.
In the championship game, Novak got the start and continued his excellent work against a red hot Rome Rivercats team contributing one and two-thirds scoreless innings of work. Then the Cougars went to their reliable bullpen man, KK Towe (who also showed off outstanding glove work all weekend at shortstop), to work out of a jam in the bottom of the second inning. The Cougars bats were quiet early as the Rome pitcher featured a curveball that gave them some trouble. AJ DeMastrie was able to solve the curveball with a line drive to the gap in right center, but the Cougars stayed scoreless until the third inning when a base hit by Moore drove home Davidson, who had reached on an excellent bunt single and later stole second base. The Cougars stretched their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fifth inning on a walk by Pierce and a single by DeMastrie that was followed by a double steal to put runners on second base and third base. Robertson then drove home Pierce with DeMastrie scoring on a wild pitch. Towe pitched until there was one out in the fifth inning without allowing a run before being relieved by Zeke Moore. Moore made quick work of the last two Rivercats as he closed out a 3-0 victory for the Cougars.
Again in this tournament, the Cougars pitching depth was on display as every player on the Cougars eleven man roster pitched at least one inning over the weekend. Congratulations to the entire Cougars (9U) roster and coaching staff for another fine weekend performance.