CROWN POINT – The summer baseball All-Star season is when memories and friendships are built over the hot months spent on a baseball diamond, making it a pretty special time in a young ball player’s life. But, when you can create history along the way like the Crown Point 10U All-Star team has, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
After winning the Ohio Valley Regional this past weekend, the Crown Point 10U All-Stars have qualified for the Cal Ripken World Series, which starts August 10 in Bentonville, Arkansas. This team is the first baseball squad from Crown Point – in any youth organization at any age level – to advance to a World Series.
“Before the season, we had every kid fill out a sheet with their goals for the year,” coach Bill McKenna said. “Each and every kid wrote ‘make it to the World Series.’”.
The team, comprised of town ball players from Crown Point has a 47-3 mark in 2012, which includes scrimmages, travel games and tournaments. They’ve really hit their stride lately, going 6-0 in the district tournament, 4-0 at state and 5-1 in the recently conquered Regional.
At first, it seemed the Regional was going to go the same way that the district and state tournaments did, with CP putting up a combined 16 runs in their first two games of pool play. But, a showdown against a tough team from Lexington, Kentucky brought the first Crown Point loss in awhile, falling 5-2, but McKenna said the defeat wasn’t a terrible thing for the team to experience.
“The Lexington area is a powerhouse in Cal Ripken baseball,” McKenna said. “We were happy with the way we could hang with them.”
Entering bracket play, Crown Point was seeded third, but the rankings got thrown right out of the window with 9-0, 16-4 and 12-2 wins to bring home the championship.
“Everyone on the team, including the subs really starting hitting the ball,” McKenna said. “It was perfect timing for us.”
‘Team’ is the name of the game for this group of All-Stars. When asked if any specific player and a big performance to help the team advance to the World Series, McKenna paused before saying. “Not to sound cliché, but it was every single kid. We had games where our pitching carried us and we had games where the offense carried us. One of the best things about our team, it was a complete team. At any given moment it can be any of those 13 kids. We’ve had times were a sub stepped up and performed well.”
Registration for Crown Point at the Cal Ripken World Series takes place on August 8, two days before they open the competition with a game against Danbury, Connecticut. In the mean time, McKenna and the coaches are letting the kids enjoy their success while also explaining the importance of what is to come.
“You have to balance letting them be kids, yet getting them to understand that this is an opportunity of a lifetime, where they get to represent the city of Crown Point and the entire state of Indiana at a World Series.”
After the opener against Connecticut on August 10, Crown Point will play Springdale, Arkansas on 8/11, Northwest Bakersfield, California on 8/13, and Sarasota, Florida on 8/14 in pool play. The top three teams in each of the two pools advance to a six team, single elimination bracket tournament.
Fans can follow Crown Point’s success at the Cal Ripken 10U World Series by clicking on this link: www.baberuthonline.com/home/worldseries/world_cr10.asp.
Nathan Laird can be reached at
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