Bainbridge 11-12-year-old All Stars bring home State Championship
Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Bainbridge Leisure Services Department’s 11-and-12-year-old All Star baseball team, coached by Jimbo Godwin and Kevin Toole, won the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association State Championship last week in Tifton.
Bainbridge Leisure Services Department director Al Kelley said last Friday’s state championship was the first for a Bainbridge team in 30 years.
The All Stars opened the double elimination tournament on Tuesday, July 8, with an exciting 16-0 win over the Whitfield County Blackouts. Braxton Johnson pitched a no hitter with nine strikeouts. The game was called in the third inning due to the run rule after Colton Harrell hit a walk off grand slam.
Email newsletter signup
The Bainbridge All Stars continued on Wednesday, July 9, with an 11-3 victory over the Savannah All Stars. On Thursday, July 10, the Bainbridge All Stars fell short in the sixth inning with a 9-10 loss to the Thomasville All Stars. But the Bainbridge All Stars were not ready to give in. Coach Toole commented, “These young men were not going to be denied the State Championship for a second year. After Thursday’s loss, they showed the mental toughness of a championship team.” The Bainbridge All Stars returned to Tifton on Friday to knock out the Savannah All Stars with a 9-4 win. This put the Bainbridge All Stars back in place to face the Thomasville All Stars for the championship on Saturday, July 11.
In Game 1 of the championship, pitcher Braxton Johnson was credited with the Bainbridge All Stars’s 9-6 defeat over the Thomasville All Stars. Other pitchers seen on the mound were Caden Brock, who relieved Johnson after meeting his pitch limit, and closer Michael Conder. Bainbridge All Stars had some powerful hitting as well, with Nolan Barr hitting two homers during the game.
In Game 2 of the championship, the Bainbridge All Stars finished strong with a 4-1 victory over the Thomasville All Stars. Pitcher Michael Conder started the team off strong with a great defense backing him up. Conder also contributed to the scoreboard with a homerun in the third inning. Pitcher Ivan Velasquez was brought in during the 5th inning to close out the game. The Bainbridge All Stars were able to seal their victory with an awesome final play. With a Thomasville All Star base runner on 2nd and trying to steal 3rd, catcher Colton Harrell threw the ball to third baseman Jase Godwin who forced the runner into a run down. Godwin threw the ball to second baseman Connor Poitevint. Then Poitevint threw the ball to shortstop Quayde Hawkins who tagged the runner for the final out.
Coach Godwin and Coach Toole couldn’t have been prouder. Coach Godwin stated, “This team is a special team. These boys love the sport and played with all their hearts. They are a talented group of boys who formed a strong bond as a team and as friends. Their teamwork was the best. Coach Toole and I are thankful for the opportunity to coach this team and help make memories that will never be forgotten. These players’ parents and community should be proud of this team and it’s ability to bring home a State Championship.”