The Lids Missouri Bulls were defending Champions when they rolled into Decatur last weekend. Last years squad who had 7 players go on to play college baseball went 4-1 on their way to the title. This years tournament would be equally as thrilling.
The Bulls sent Adam Pennington to the mound in game #1 on Thursday vs BNBA Gold from Bloomington, Illinois. The Bulls jumped out to an early lead thanks to some key hits from Lockhert and Huering. Pennington left after 5 innings with a 7-2 lead giving up two earned runs on three hits, striking out five and walking three. The pride of Carterville high school, Sammy Stearns, came in to shut BNBA out over the final two innings allowing no runs on only one hit and striking out one. The Bulls put game one of pool play in the books with a 7-2 win.
Game number two was at 8:30am on Friday and Trey Tigart got the nod on the bump vs the KC Slugger's Cardinal team. Trey was dominant from start to finish as he pitched five innings of perfect baseball, striking out four and walking none. He had a perfect game going into the sixth but with only 45 pitches coach Pennington decided to save him in case they made it deep into the weekend, a move that would pay off later. Jordan Miller preserved the shutout over the final two innings as the Bulls won 5-0. Tyler Vaughn and Ramsey Scott had two hits each and an RBI for the Bulls.
In the third pool play game, the St. Louis Gamer's Blue team was looking for revenge from the prior weekend at Jonesboro. Tyler Vaughn took the mound and was roughed up early. The Gamer's were up 6-0 in the 4th when Vaughn was relieved after giving up six runs, four earned on seven base hits, walked two and struck out one. Landewee pitched the final three and a 1/3 allowing one unearned run on three hits. The Bulls couldn't get any offense going and dropped this game 7-2. Grantham had two hits for the Bulls.
The Bulls ended with the number four seed and drew the KC Sluggers Black 18u team in their semi-final match at noon on Sunday.
Adam Grantham took the hill for the Lids Missouri Bulls and showed why he was chosen in this years MLB draft. He held the Sluggers to one run on three hits, striking out six, walking four. On offense Brady Wright had a couple hits as the Bulls advanced to the finals with a 5-1 victory.
The finals was a rematch of the Lids Missouri Bulls and the St. Louis Gamer's Blue. This would be a game for the ages as the pitchers for both teams were amazing.
Sammy Stearns got the start for the Bulls and he went six and 2/3 innings allowing no runs, scattering seven hits, striking out five and walking two. Sikeston's Trey Tigart who had been pulled earlier in the weekend while throwing a perfect game came into a two on two out jam in the seventh a retired the batter to send the game into extra innings.
Neither team could get a run accross as both had many chances. One of the most exciting plays of the afternoon came in the bottom of the 10th when Adam Grantham threw a bullet home to Heuring to cut down the winning run from center field.
In the bottom of the 12th with two outs the Gamer's finally managed a run with a gap shot and the vistory 1-0. Tigart pitched five innings of relief allowing only that run on three hits and was saddled with the loss. In 12 innings vs the Gamer's top team, Tigart has only allowed two earned runs.
"It was a tough loss, but one of the best games I've ever been part of," said Bulls coach Todd Pennington. "We have a lot of respect for Matt Whiteside and his Gamer's program and look forward to many more games vs those guys in the future."
The Bulls ended up going 3-2 on the weekend, taking second place but held their heads high. The best part of the weekend was that over 20 college coaches were on hand to watch the Bulls compete.