By Sonny Jones
There was likely disappointment and frustration — maybe even a tear or two shed or held back at some point — during and following the Bladen County Majors’ 6-0 loss Tuesday afternoon against Amelia, Virginia in the Final Four of the Dixie Youth Baseball Division 2 World Series in Anderson, South Carolina.
Bladen County had been eliminated from the nine-team tournament just one win shy of playing for the championship. So close, yet so far.
It was just one of those days against a team that had yet to lose a game in the tournament. Amelia will play Lunenberg, Virginia on Wednesday for the title.
But any disappointment or frustration will — or should — quickly fade away for the team and its supporters. It was a remarkable and historic run by Chase Bryan, Luke Bryant, Gauge King, Ashton Davis, Corben Chadwick, Sawyer King, Cole Brisson, Drake Gause, Andrew Wren, Devan Stanley and Gavin Brisson along with coaches Keith Wren, Jason Bryant and Jonathan McMillan.
The group was the first Bladen County League All-Star team to win a Dixie Youth Baseball state championship when they defeated West Duplin 3-2 on July 14 in Dunn. Bladen County roared through the tournament with a 5-0 record.
At the World Series, Bladen County won its first game by shutout, 5-0 against the Alabama state runners-up, lost a heartbreaker 2-1 in seven innings against Lunenberg, Virginia, and roared back with a 13-3 victory against the Alabama state champs before being eliminated Tuesday.
As the parent of a son who played in two Dixie Pre-Majors World Series — three games in 2014 in Chipley, Florida and four games in 2015 in Guntersville, Alabama — I urge and encourage you to keep the jersey, the hat, a tournament program, game photos and videos, game stories and any souvenirs from the tournament. Those mementos may not have a special meeting now, but they will. I assure you.
I also can assure each player, coach and family member who was in Anderson that you had the full support of your Bladenboro community and thousands of folks from all over Bladen County.
No, the World Series didn’t end the way all of us wanted, but each of you should be proud of your accomplishment. Your hometown county certainly was.
Treasure earning the opportunity to play in a Dixie Youth World Series. Few youngsters get the chance.
It’s been a busy and hectic summer, but it’s worth it. You’ve created a lifetime of memories. Embrace all the good times of this past month.
Congratulations and a tip of the cap to all involved with the Bladen County Majors team. A job well done.
WEDNESDAY’S PICK TO CLICK
New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole rises to the challenge of matching up against Seattle Mariners newcomer Luis Castillo in a battle of aces. Cole with 11 strikeouts and 2 earned runs in 7 innings.
TUESDAY’S PICK: Atlanta Braves’ Austin Riley celebrates his 10-year, $212 contract with a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies. RESULTS:
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
• MLB: Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees or Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins, 1 p.m., MLBN
• HOCKEY: U-18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, United States vs. Czech Republic, 1 p.m., NHLN
• WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks at New York Liberty, 7 p.m., CBSSN
• SOCCER: Leagues Cup, LA Galaxy vs. Chivas de Guadalajara, 8 p.m., ESPN
• MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants or Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, 9:30 p.m., MLBN
Sonny Jones can be reached at email@example.com.