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U-10 East Baseball squad wins USSSA state crown

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - The Under-10 USSSA Kentucky State Baseball Championship will reside in Mount Washington for the next year as the East Bullitt squad brought home the big hardware from the state tournament on June 26.

After losing a game in the opening round, coach Pat Kelley’s team reached the final four elimination games where they put together a pair of impressive victories. First, they got a combined no-hitter from Mason Kelley and Tyler Mozingo to defeat the Outlaws, a team from western Kentucky, 1-0. Hours later, the offense got in high gear as they beat the Ball Hogs 10-4 in the championship contest.

While this is the first USSSA state title for this group of players, this is not their first success with baseball. Two years ago, the same core group of players won the Under-8 Cal Ripken State Championship playing as the Mount Washington All-Stars.

All of the team members have played in the Mount Washington Youth League at one time or another and two still do. All but one of the team members live in Mount Washington while the one lives in Shepherdsville.

“Last year we won some 50 odd games so we knew this would be a good team,” Kelley said recently. “We felt we could win a state championship. Still, it is always a pleasure and surprise to come away with a win in a tournament like that. There are never any weak teams when you go that deep into a tournament.”

Playing at the Germantown Youth League in Louisville, the East Bullitt team posted a 5-1 record in the tournament that included nine teams. Kelley’s team did drop a game to Max Power, but that team was not able to move into the final four portion of the event.

This was the fifth USSSA event for the team this spring. They won one of those tournaments and finished second in three others. Early in the season, the East Bullitt team had lost to the Ball Hogs twice by double-digit counts.

“To come back and progress that much and then beat them in the tournament was a big deal for us,” Kelley said.

This is a smart and focused team according to Kelley.

“We had to play four games on a Sunday this season,” the coach said. “That’s hard for 10-year olds to retain their composure. That is a good sign.”

The East Bullitt squad gets its power from Mozingo and Kelley who also lead the team in batting average. Still, Zak Perdew and Jeremy Riggs also bat near the .400 mark.

“We’re really a singles and doubles team,” Kelley said. “We bunt and steal a lot. We’ve got real smart kids.”

There are also some tough kids. Catcher Hunter Brogan caught every pitch of the state tournament. Kelley also noted that Addison Phillips and Blake Rhoades had their best hitting tourney of the year and that Noah Kessler, Riggs and Bryan Miles each made great defensive plays. The squad also got key pitching efforts in the state tournament from both Seth Jutz and Gentry who were called into action after pitching very little during the season.

“This was a team effort and I am really proud of each and every kid,” Kelley said.

Winning the state tournament qualified the squad for the USSSA World Series, but instead, Kelley says that the East Bullitt squad will instead play in the Baseball Players Association Kentucky State Tournament that will be played in Owensboro starting on July 13.

The team members for the East Bullitt squad including Bryant Miles, Jeremy Riggs, Seth Jutz, Noah Kessler, Luke Gentry, Hunter Brogan, Blake Rhoades, Mason Kelley, Tyler Mozingo, Addison Phillips, Zak Perdew and Jacob Benson.

Kelley was the head coach and he was assisted by Keith Brogan and Matt Mozingo.