It’s been all business for the Kansas City Dirtbags in the 13u Elite Division of the 2018 Triple Crown World Series in Steamboat Springs, CO. The Dirtbags started its journey with a 14-5 win over the East County Rattlers, followed up with a 12-9 victory over Cascade Crush and finished off a perfect 3-0 pool play journey with a 16-8 win over Bergen Thunder.
“Our whole team has been one solid group of individuals,” said Kael Davis. “When one of us does a positive thing, we all get up and cheer. That kind of positivity has really psyched our team up to do good things.”
Davis was lightning in a bottle out of the gate for the Dirtbags. On the very first pitch of the game, he hammered the ball over the fence to put his team ahead in the blink of an eye.
“I was looking for a fastball,” Davis said. “It came and I hit it hard.”
The solo shot was only the beginning of a six-run opening stanza for Kansas City. Luke Presto and Deegan Seely both drove in runs before the inning was book-ended with a two-run home run from Dondreonne Kennedy.
“I wasn’t trying to hit it out,” said Kennedy. “I was just trying to hit a line drive, it just happened to go a lot farther than I thought.”
Bergen Thunder were desperate for a win, and after giving up six early runs the resilient squad dug deep for a multi-run effort themselves. Taking advantage of Dirtbag mistakes, the Thunder pushed across four runs on three hits and three errors.
Davis and the Kansas City offense weren’t about to give Bergen any hope, though. Another single and two quick stolen bases let Jackson Downing bring Davis home with a sacrifice fly. Tate McGuire would also muster up a sacrifice in the second inning to make it 8-4.
After a quiet bottom of the second inning, the Thunder began slowly chipped away at the Dirtbag lead. Bergen conjured a run in the bottom of the third inning and quick work, defensively, in the top of the fourth allowed them to get back to the plate where they’d score three more runs, tying the game at eight.
“Our teamwork this week has been outstanding,” Kennedy said. “It got close there towards the end but all of us believed in each to get the job done.”
Seely opend the fifth inning with a single just as the time two-hour time limit expired, meaning the fifth would be the final of the game. Twelve total Dirtbag players would come to bat, eight of which would make the trek around the bases. Chase Wilcox and Dondreonne Kenney highlighted the inning with RBI extra-base hits.
Suddenly, the momentum swung back toward the Dirtbags, who now stood just three outs away from a third victory in three games.
Ty Wisdom climbed to the bump in the final frame. For the first time all game, Wisdom set down the Thunder in order, sealing the win, 16-8.
“Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Davis. “If we continue the way we’ve been playing and picking each other up, we’ll be playing for that big trophy on Sunday.”