The U9 Summers Rubber Pelicans went 6-0 in the 44-team Nations State Baseball Championship, en route to winning the state tournament.
At the state tournament, the Pelicans won their first four games by a combined score of 54-3, before running into a formidable Strongsville Stallions team in the semifinals. That game went back and forth in the early innings, and the Pelicans trailed after three innings, before a big inning pushed the Pelicans to a 14-4 victory.
In the championship game, the Pelicans outlasted the powerful Ohio Bombers. The Pelicans battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the first inning and a 12-8 deficit in their last at-bat, and then held on to win the championship in dramatic fashion by a score of 13-12.
In six games, the Pelicans batters collected 72 hits, while their pitchers surrendered only 17 hits.
“This is a special group of boys,” coach Eric Pfaff said. “They’re at the field before practice starts, and you have to kick them off the field when it’s done. They just love the game and it shows in how they play.
“They’re a tough-minded bunch as well, as we all saw in the state championship,” he added. “It’s a talented group, but they really earned this championship through their own hard work and determination.”
The team is comprised of ten boys from Cleveland’s West Side of, and is sponsored by Summers Rubber, the business formerly owned by Mike Summers (now mayor of Lakewood), Nationwide Insurance and several local West Side enterprises.
Courtesy of Jim Miller