The Bally Bearcats 12U Black squad entered the Spring Invitational Tournament sponsored by Elite Championship Tournament Baseball on April 28 and 29, with hopes of bettering last years fourth place finish.In the tournament were 12 strong teams from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.
With two Saturday games in pool play on their home field, the boys from Bally came out with their bats smoking, handing the Tannersville (PA) Titans.13-0 that ended after three innings due to the mercy rule.
Next up in the nightcap was the Pennsylvania Wildcats. The bats did not cool off and the pitching and defense was equally as brilliant against the hard hitting Wildcats as the Bearcats coasted to an 11-3 victory. The win earned the Bearcats a number three seed going into Sunday's elimination rounds.
Heading to Reading early Sunday for a tilt against a very tough sixth-seeded South Jersey Thunder team, the Bearcats knew that wins in the quarterfinals and semies would send them back to Bally for the championship game late Sunday night.
Staying unbelievably focused, the Cats handed the Thunder an 8-0 early exit from the tournament.
Next, it was on to the semifinals to face one of their fiercest rivals, the big-hitting, number two seeded Schuylkill Coal Crackers. Knowing they would need a bunch of runs to knock the Crackers out, the Cats came out in the top of the first inning on fire going through their entire batting order and a big 5-0 lead.
From there, they never looked back, getting unbelievable pitching and defense on their way to an 8-2 victory and a trip home to Bally for a shot at championship hardware.
The number one-seeded Central Jersey Jaguars were the only team left between the Bearcats and a tournament championship. After a long day and a long ride from Reading to Bally to play the championship game, the Bearcats could have easily lost there focus. That did not happen with a two-run first inning being all they needed as the Cats rolled to a very impressive 10-1 victory and tournament championship.
When asked what was key to the team's success in this tournament, head coach Jim Monzo replied "We had 13 kids this weekend and I can remember each one of them doing something great to help us along the way. When you outscore opponents of this quality 50-6 in a weekend, it has to be a total team effort. These kids were just dominating."
Members of this year's 12U Black squad are Zach Birch, Keeanu Erb, Joey Monzo, Austin Heimbach, Damien Tordonato, Connor Simmons, Matt Miller, Josh Spayd, Chris Boroch, Michael Struss, Christian Henderson, Angelo Kelly, Giovanni Gussen and George Stokes.