The Jackson County Black Sox 8U got some hardware last weekend April 23-25) as they traveled to Hamilton, Ohio to compete in the MVP Ohio Spring Swing Tournament. 

They kicked off the weekend Friday night with a win against the CBC Blackhawks. The Black Sox came hitting on all cylinders, tallying 20 runs on 13 hits in a 3-inning run rule.  Coleson Smalley, Ace Hickey, and Brady Witt led the team each with 3 RBI on the day. Hickey and Witt also each had a home run to help elevate the Sox over the Blackhawks in the opener.      ?

The Black Sox came into their Saturday morning game against a confident BB Riverboat Hawks team that had upset the area favorite Miami Valley Prospect 8U team the night before.  Unlike their previous game, the Sox struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively as the Hawks were able to score 15 runs on 17 hits.  Twelve of their 15 runs came in the third and sixth innings when the Sox committed four errors.  Bryner Wooten and Jayden Swackhammer led the team at the plate each going 3-for-3, while Teegan Ousley and Abram Reynolds went 2-for-3 on the day. The Sox were unfortunately only able to manufacture nine total runs however it was enough to secure a second-seed position in Sunday’s bracket play.

The Black Sox opened Sunday’s bracket play against a fiery and very disciplined Hamilton Hitmen team who for four innings led as the Sox couldn’t seem to find their bats and committed the most errors they have all season (13).

Defense then played a key role in turning the game around in the Black Sox’s favor. In the top of the third inning, the Hitmen were rallying with two runners in scoring position when Max Gillum came up big with a catch in right field to stall the scoring. Then in the top of the fifth inning, Tyson Havens made a great catch in center field and two plays later, Coleson Smalley caught a line drive up the middle and was able to double up the runner on second.  

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Sox went on a hitting spree when Bryner Wooten, Tyson Havens, Maddox Morris, Karter Whisman, Coleson Smalley, Jace Jackson, Teegan Ousley and Ace Hickey all hit to help score the maximum 6 runs in an inning. The Hitmen could not battle back as the Sox defense finally stepped up in the top of the sixth inningholding them off and earning their spot into the Championship Game against the Miami Valley Prospects 8U.

The Black Sox came into the Championship Game as the higher seed. However,their opponents, the Miami Valley Prospects, were out to win as they had played a couple weeks ago, and the Sox were able to knock them off 16-14.   In Sundays Championship game, the Sox were able to play the best defensive game they have all season and led through four innings. Ace Hickey lead the team going 3-3 with four RBI while Teegan Ousley went 2-3 and one RBI.  

Doubles by Coleson Smalley and Ace Hickey and a single by Teegan Ousley led to three runs in the first inning.  Bryner Wooten was able to make a great play from right field, throwing out a runner at first and stalling a big inning for the Prospects holding them to only three runs in the second inning.  The Sox then unfortunately stalled themselves in the bottom of the second inning, on a one-two-three inning with a ground out to second and two strikeouts.  

The Hitmen were able to secure one more run in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly to Tyson Havens in center field. In the bottom of the third inning, the Sox were able to get something going as they scored five runs on singles by Jayden Swackhammer, Jace Jackson, Teegan Ousley, Ace Hickey, Brady Witt, Abram Reynolds and Bryner Wooten.  

The Sox then thought they had the momentum as they held the Prospects scoreless in the top of the fourth inning with a strikeout, a fly out to Ace Hickey and a fielder’s choice to shortstop Jace Jackson. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Karter Whisman and Max Gillum singled; however, the inning was stalled when Jayden Swackhammer popped out to the shortstop and Coleson Smalley hit into a fielders choice to the third baseman. 

Unfortunately,in the final inning, just like the previous game for the Sox, the Prospects bats came alive, and they were able to take the lead for good.  Kainen W. of the Prospects led off the inning and flew out to shortstop Jace Jackson.  With just two outs remaining and the top of the lineup coming to bat, the Prospects secured six singles and one double allowing them to score the maximumsix runs in the inning.  Unfortunately, the four-run differential was too much for the Sox to overcome in the bottom of the fifth inning and the game ended with a final score of 12-8.

The Sox have the next two weekends off until traveling to Dayton, Ohio May 15-16 to compete in the MAK Memorial Tournament.  

The boys would like to thank their 2021 sponsors: Southern Ohio Smiles, BrenMar, Buckeye Lawn & Landscapes, Randy Evans Construction, Geiger Brothers, Mohawk Electric, Mini Dental Implant Centers of America, Wagner Tool Rental, Shady Outlook Investment Properties, Dakota’s Roadhouse, Four Mile Farms, Baxter Construction, Chubby Bartenders, Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home, and Total Media.