Chandler reigns as 8-and-under machine pitch champions
By TJ MAXWELL
The 8-and-under machine pitch state tournament, hosted by the Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation Department, reached its conclusion on Thursday morning with just two teams left vying for the tournament title.
The Chandler Horned Frogs won four-consecutive game to earn a spot in Thursday morning’s championship game while the Grand Saline Cubs had to battle back from a second-round loss to the Horned Frogs.
The Horned Frogs then handed the Cubs their second loss of the tournament on Thursday morning to seal the 8U Machine Pitch tournament crown with their fifth win of the tournament.
The Cubs battled back with losers’ bracket wins over the Early Twins, Groesbeck Ellison and Buffalo Kennedy to earn a spot in the championship game.
Chandler opened up the tournament with a win over the Troy Outlaws on Monday before knocking Groesbeck and Grand Saline into the bottom bracket. The Horned Frogs then downed Buffalo in the winners’ bracket semifinals to earn a spot in the title game with two chances to win it all.
Grand Saline opened the tourney with a win over the Gatesville Rangers before suffering their first loss in the double-elimination tournament against their championship battle-mate.
The host Copperas Cove Astros and Royals had a rough go in the tournament with opening round losses followed by losers’ bracket losses.
The Astros opened the tournament on Monday with a loss to the Early Twins as the Royals simultaneously fell to the Brownwood Red Raiders.
It didn’t go much better on Tuesday morning as both teams were eliminated from the tournament in 9 a.m. contests.
The Royals were ousted by the Troy Outlaws while the Astros were sent home by a familiar foe in the Gatesville Rangers.
Other local teams are still vying for a state title.
The Belton Longhorns, Belton Rebels and Salado Desjardin teams were all still alive in the 18-team boys’ 6U T-Ball tournament in Riesel but all three will have to battle it out to see who emerges from the losers’ bracket to face the winner of the Chandler Lumberjacks and Axtell Pierce (results not available at press time).
The Belton Red Sox and Temple Aces will fight it out for a spot in the 13-team 10U Open Base championship game in Temple while the Belton Braves faced the Holland Hornets for the other finals spot (results not available at press time).
In the 10U Tight Base tourney, the Gatesville Heaters faced the Axtell Outlaws in the winners’ bracket semis to face the winner of the Frankston Indians/Leon Cougars (results not available at press time).
Another Belton squad, the Red Sox, competed against the Rusk Yankees in the winners’ bracket where they will face the last team standing in the losers’ bracket out of the Westphalia Pond Creek Riverdogs, Mexia Craig and Chandler Longhorns.