It wasn’t easy, but the end result was certainly worth it for the Wellsville Padres.
The Padres rallied to beat the Wellsville Diamondbacks in the semifinals of their youth baseball tournament, and then held off the Hyrum Royals, 10-7, to capture the title on Monday evening at Heritage Park in Nibley.
“It was great to see them come together as a team and celebrate (their title),” Padres coach Chase Anderson said. “Watching 10 kids that really don’t know each other come together and bond like that is fabulous to watch. Win or lose, at the end of the day as long as the kids had that much fun and got some new friends was well worth it. But to win is obviously an awesome feeling as well, and they were pretty excited about it.”
After going 5-2 in the regular season, the Padres caught fire in the postseason as they went 4-0 in the single elimination tournament to reign supreme in the Minors Division, which is for kids ages 8-10. Wellsville also dispatched of the Hyrum Dodgers and Nibley Astros in the tourney.
The Padres trailed the D-backs 4-1 in the early going of their semifinal showdown, but were undaunted despite facing a deficit most of the game.
“It was a huge confident booster for (my team) because they were definitely, right at the first of the game, really worried about the Diamondbacks,” Anderson said. “That was one of the tougher games that we had all season, so they were super worried about it.”
The Padres then proceeded to get off to a quick start in the championship contest as they plated five runs in the top of the first. That is the maximum amount of runs a team can score in a minors game.
To their credit, the Royals were undaunted as they put a five-spot on the scoreboard in the home half of the first.
However, Wellsville seized momentum for good by pushing across five runs in the top of the second to take a 10-5 lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Tyler Baldwin inflicted most of the damage on the Royals as he smacked a three-run inside-the-park homer.
The contest only went three innings due to the league’s per-game time limit.
In addition to Baldwin, the Padres’ lineup was comprised of Athen Piggott, Sam Bott, Datten Anderson, Ian Burbank, Brett Rowser, Payton Slater, Jaxon Hubble-Ivie, Hayze Rowser and Sawyer Tye. Coach Anderson thoroughly enjoyed mentoring these 10 athletes throughout the season.
“The kids listened really well,” coach Anderson said. “Usually you get kids at that age where they struggle to listen, but these kids were in it to play. They wanted to be there; every one of them wanted to be there. It wasn’t forced on them by their parents, so I think our biggest strength was they listened. They did want they were told and they did it well.”