Freedom Farm wins bronze medal at Machine Pitch World Series

It was a bronze medal finish for the Freedom Farm Boas in the boys under-8 machine-pitch at the 2021 Cal Ripken 8-and-under Machine Pitch World Series at the Ocala Rotary Sportsplex in Ocala, Florida, on Saturday.

They lost a 7-6 nail-biter to the East Bay Chiefs on Saturday morning. They advanced to that semi-final game thanks to a huge 9-5 victory over the Rotary Reds on Friday night. Dion Munroe, team manager, said that the team showed they can compete at a high level.

“The game showed that with all things considered, we could play with any team in the tournament,” Munroe said. “We are very happy to see the boys compete at this level of baseball. Their level of play improved as they became more familiar with the new surroundings such as the playing surface, pitching machine, and field configuration. The level of play exhibited by our team impressed the opposing coaches, opponents and fans.”

It was the second time the third-ranked Boas played the second-ranked Chiefs in three days. The Boas fell 10-0 in that game, which was the back end of a back-to-back where they had to come back to win the earlier game.

In the game on Saturday, the Chiefs got off to a 2-0 lead at the end of the first inning. However, they were able to storm back and tied the game at 4-4. After going into the final inning down 7-4, their bats came alive and they were able to score two more runs. With two bases loaded, the Boas was unable to bring either home as the score remained at 7-6, with the Chiefs holding on for the win and a spot in the final.

Playing on the team were Tyler Smith, Dwayne Colebrooke, Elisha Sands, Rivante Armally, Graycin Newball, Gianno Newball, Isaac Richardson, Bosfield Butler, Trayvon Winters, Gianno Coakley, Derryus Rolle, Carmelo Wallace, Andrew Seymour and Dario Robinson.

In addition to bringing back home the bronze medal, a few of the players took home individual awards. Sands came away with the tournament’s Gold Glove at first base and Butler won the tournament’s Gold Glove at second base. Sands, along with Gianno Newball, received all-tournament selections. As a team, they won the Team Sportsmanship Award.

“If our players continue to work hard, I see a bright future in baseball for them,” Munroe said. “Those two come-from-behind wins were fun and stressful at the same time. However, the fans cheered us on, and the boys believed in themselves. The exposure from these trips is invaluable, to be away from home, and having to settle into and adjust to a new environment while playing at a high level can be hard for adults much less seven- and eight-year-olds. And in this case, we had a six-year-old receiving major playing time and coming through in the clutch.”

The Boas started off the tournament with a 10-0 win over Scott County Cardinals. They finished the group stage in third place with a 2-1 win/loss record.

According to Munroe, opposing coaches were asking about having a few of his players to be a part of their travel team.

In preparation for the tournament, the team took it up a notch and held practices during the day after school closed. The players will get some rest and then start preparing for next season once the COVID-19 protocols allow for baseball. Munroe is hoping to see those who have not aged up to return for next year’s tournament.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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