The Braves put together a dominant performance to win the Cal Ripken 10U state tournament at Frankie Allen Park in Buckhead July 11 through 14.
The team outscored their opponents 53-3 in four games to capture the state crown in convincing fashion.
The Braves certainly didn’t take the easy road en route to the state title as they tested themselves early against a tougher schedule than they have played in recent years.
“I was the manager last year and we played Dizzy Dean last year and Dizzy Dean was basically other recreational park All-Star teams,” Braves manager Lance Beck. “We took a different strategy this year. We played elite travel tournaments against the best travel teams not only in Georgia but in the country. We took our lumps early. But, once we got to the Cal Ripken state tournament, we were again playing All-Star teams and we were dominant. Of the three runs we gave up, two of them were unearned.”
The Braves clinched the state tournament with a 12-0 victory over Southwest Baseball of Austell in the championship game July 13.
Mark Gallups, Michael Hollingsworth and Wright Formisano drove in a run each, while Banks Snelling stole home to give the Braves a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
The Braves added three more runs in the third, with a single by Hollingsworth scoring Thomas Rollauer and Sam Downer’s single bringing in Hollingworth and Formisano.
Five more runs were added in the fourth, with Nick O’Reilly hitting a three-run home run to score Matthew Beck and Luke Ham and Snelling doubling to bring in Gallups.
Matthew Beck pitched a shutout for the Braves in five innings, giving up only two hits and striking out seven.
“Our pitcher was throwing strikes,” Lance Beck said. “They were hitting weak grounders and our defense was stellar. Every time they tried to put the ball into play, it was an out.”
The Braves also defeated Ocee Park 15-2 and 13-1 and Southwest Baseball 13-0 in pool play.
Conor Walsh and Paul Flor also played key roles for the Braves both at the plate and defensively.
The Braves also finished runner-up at the USSSA Global World Series in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., June 27 through 30.
The Braves finished the summer season with a 16-15 record, playing against mostly elite travel teams.
For Beck, the season was a valuable learning experience for his players.
“This year was a year of development for our players,” he said. “We knew we would take our lumps early against travel competition. We lost some games, we won some games, but we were very competitive and we developed very rapidly. It was a baptism under fire type of thing.”