• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Kentucky Rockers 10U wins USSSA World Series

THE KENTUCKY ROCKERS 10U team won the USSSA World Series in Kingsport, Tn June 24. Pictured from left: front, Aaron Campbell, Gavin Banks, Colin Darragh, Braxton Hensley, Brady Wasik, J.B. Martin, Will Heichelbech; middle row,  Phearson Oepping, Cody Decker, Jack Kincaid, Jonah Branham, Ryan Cecil; back row, Barry Hartley, Jason Heichelbech, J.J. Martin, Eric Banks, Doug Hensley, Jason Decker, Kaleb Hartley. (Photo submitted)

The Kentucky Rockers 10 and under team won the United States Special Sports Association World Series Sunday, June 24 in Kingsport, Tn. The Rockers went undefeated in the tournament featuring teams from five different states. On Sunday, the games were running behind, and Rockers Coach Barry Hartley said he had a decision to make. “It was double elimination going into the finals,” said Hartley. “I knew we were staring at a four-hour drive home and some kids had vacations planned to start Monday. I made the call that it would be one game to decide the championship. They would have had to beat us twice, but we made the decision and went with it.” In the championship game, the Rockers fell behind 3-0 in the first inning to the Kingsport Tribe but rallied back to take the lead and eventually a 10-9 win. The Rockers have been a staple in the local baseball scene for years playing tournaments in Kentucky and neighboring states. Travel ball and playing the best competition prepared the team for this successful run according to Hartley. “The last few days were a punching match,” said Hartley. “The kids did well to stay composed and play smart baseball. Our pitchers were gassed at the end but showed great maturity for their age. When we came to the mound to speak to them, we received honest answers on how their arms felt. They knew the importance of the team needing fresh live arms to win this thing.” The Rockers qualified for the World Series by finishing runner-up at the Kentucky State Championship June 17 in Elizabethtown.

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