The rain came down and prematurely ended the Bahamas Baseball Association’s (BBA) National Championships on Sunday but, fortunately, the final division that was in action, the 12-and-under (12U), had just completed the third inning of the gold medal which made the game official. The Freedom Farm Baseball League won, bagging its sixth division title with a 9-0 victory over the Grand Bahama Little League.
The competition that got underway on Friday, wrapped up with ‘Championship Sunday’ yesterday at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.
Freedom Farm 12U team was dominant throughout the entire tournament, winning all four of its games. With the rain threatening to interrupt the game, Coach Marlon Bostwick set his team up to play a full three innings. By the third inning, they had a 7-0 lead, and added two more runs for the final result. Bostwick said he was hoping the rain didn’t come and they would have played out the full game.
“With the game not going to the full innings, we had some sort of doubt. We wanted to come out here, executed the game plan and leave with a ‘Mercy Rule’ victory to show our dominance,” Bostwick said. “Against Grand Bahama, the game was well-executed. We did not give up any runs. We had stellar hitting and pitching in our line-up and we came out victorious even though it did not go the full distance.”
One of the loudest and most watched games of the day was the 16U game between Freedom Farm and the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN). This game was dominated by JBLN as they won 10-6. JBLN coach Warren Levarity Jr. said whenever these two teams face each other, there will be a lot of fireworks.
“Our job was to stay composed and come out and execute our plan. We did that in the beginning and fizzled in the end as we tried to hold on. We know that they are a good team and organization, so we expected them to come back. We got the lead early and we held them off,” he said.
JBLN led 8-0 and 9-1 in the game, but had to hold off a late comeback by Freedom Farm.
JBLN pitcher Ahmon Smith went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored three runs in the victory. As a team, JBLN got six hits in the first two innings which produced eight runs – four per inning.
Freedom Farm did not get on the scoreboard until the fourth inning. They scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but they could not keep the runs coming as the game ended 10-6.
The JBLN team avenged their earlier 2-0 loss to Freedom Farm who left the group stage with a 3-0 win/loss record.
It was a perfect run for Freedom Farm’s 10U team as they pulled off a 7-2 victory over JBLN in the gold medal game. They came into the championship game with a 4-0 record in the tournament, and allowed just two hits in the championship game in 19 at-bats. Freedom Farm had nine hits.
Freedom Farm 10U team coach William Seymour was confident that his team would prevail.
“We knew as a team, from early on in the tournament, that we were going to be victorious and win the championship. We felt that the level of competition in the group – our guys play above their level. We were sure of the victory. In preparing the guys for this tournament, we were second to none. They worked hard and deserved the victory,” Seymour said.
Freedom Farm came out on top with three wins in what turned out to be a best-of-five series against JBLN in the 18U division. In the final game, Freedom Farm won 10-2.
It was a dominating run by the Freedom Farm 14U team as they scored 22 runs and gave up just two runs in the group stage. They took down JBLN 13-0 in the gold medal game to secure the national title in that division. To get there, they took down the Abaco Youth Baseball League, 7-0, in the semifinals.
The 8U division (Coach Pitch) was won by Freedom Farm. They won 19-1 over JBLN in the gold medal game to cart off that trophy. They were unbeaten in group play with a 3-0 record and did not concede a run until the championship game. They scored 56 runs in the group stage.
In the 6U division (Tee Ball), Freedom Farm won a best-of-three series 2-0 over the Legacy Baseball League out of Grand Bahama. In the first game, Freedom Farm won 28-5. In the second game, Legacy put up a fight but Freedom Farm won 18-5.
The different local leagues will now look to travel to the United States for various tournaments in the summer as coaches look to give them more exposure and experience.