Gros Point Farms/City Deathrones Defend World Champs for Major Baseball State Title

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Gros Point Farms/City baseball team isn’t afraid to take the field against defending World Series champion Taylor North at Southern Little League Field in Grand Rapids on Wednesday night.

Farms/City may seem like an underdog to the uneducated, but the talented squad entered the Michigan Little League state championship game with confidence, beating their last five tournament opponents 42-7.

A few occasional hits and a brilliant performance from Cole Wortman on the mound proved the difference for Farms/City, as they held off Taylor North in a difficult 4–3 decision to secure the Michigan Little League Major Baseball State Championship.

More: Images from Wednesday’s Little League State Championship Game

Farm/City advance to the Great Lakes Regional Tournament from Whitestown, Indiana on August 6-10.

“We really felt like we were the team going into this tournament,” Farms/City head coach Terry Brennan said after the game. “We have been playing well all summer and when we took the field tonight we felt confident and we were not going to back down.

“Last year, we lost in extra innings of the state championship game. We really wanted to come back here and wash that taste out of our mouths. It was really our inspiration throughout the season and I think the boys were excited about the opportunity to win the state title. ,

Wortman led the way from the mound to Farm/City with five strikeouts and allowed only three runs through 6.2 innings and added a game-winning RBI at the bottom of the fifth inning that broke a late 3-3 tie. Gave.

“It felt really good to win today,” said Wortman, surrounded by his teammates. “A lot of hard work went into it and it paid off, so I’m really excited. They’re all family members to me, so it feels extra special to win the state title with them.”

Brennan didn’t hesitate to give Wortman the ball to start the state’s title game, as the young standout has already proved to be a game-changing performer throughout the summer.

“He’s a bulldog to us,” Brennan said of his starting pitcher. “He is our work horse and we rely on him all the time and he always works for us. He has the dirty stuff and he just fights all over the game. We felt pretty good about our chances today because We knew he would keep us in the game.

Also adding significant contributions for Farm/City was Tommy Brennan, who went 2-for-3 with a run, Merritt Heubner added an RBI and Brady Cooper scored a run.

Brennan said after the game, “These guys just fight together, they stay together, they play for their city and they play for each other.” “They are like family to each other. They have been playing together for five years, so they are best friends on and off the field and it is unbelievable what can happen when they play together.”

For Taylor North, a heart-wrenching defeat ended the storybook the program had run for over the past two summers after winning the Little League World Series in 2021. The road to repeat proved to be a daunting task, but the squad was consoled to end the journey. ,

“We knew today it was going to be a fight and that was exactly what it was,” Taylor North head coach Ron Dotson said. “(Gros Point Farms/City) are a very talented team and they were confident. Although I am proud of my boys. Today everyone fought and never gave up. We had some errors in the defence, which hurt us, But otherwise, we got them off the plate today.

“That will be our motivation for next year. Last year, when we lost in the state semifinals to 11-year-olds, that was our motivation. That loss is going to fuel us this off-season. We’re going to have a couple of weeks.” Going to take leave, and then we’re going to fix it.”

Cole Boike destroyed a pair of singles home runs to boost Taylor North’s offense, while Lucas Brewer added an RBI single at the top of the fourth inning that tied the game 3-3.

“He has been a catalyst for all of us tournaments,” said Boik’s Dotson. “He has scored just four or five home runs in this tournament and he had two runs today. We really stopped our wagon for him because he is a great bowler. Today, he set the tone for us off the plate, and the rest Everyone went after him and made plays to keep us in the hunt.”

After the game, Dotson and the rest of the Taylor North team had an emotional team meeting to talk about their special run together.

“I was honored to train all these kids,” he said. “Jackson Schufelt was on the World Series team last year and he had a great summer this year too. We have kids like Tristan Spencer, who has really improved, and Cruz Rodriguez, who is already a catcher at just 11 years old. We have a solid team and it’s tough to end it like this but it will be fun to see how these kids improve for the rest of their baseball careers.”

The Taylor North baseball program will send its intermediate boys team to regionals in Iowa next week, while the junior boys’ team has already secured a spot in the Junior Little League World Series.

For Dotson the continued success of the program which is only in Year 3 is astonishing.

“I don’t think the state of Michigan has a better program,” he said. “Top to bottom, Taylor North has the best combination of programs for both softball and baseball. The support from the entire community is amazing. The players, coaches and people leading our program are top notch and I think it’s our It’s the beginning of things. I think the sky is the limit for us.

“I think it’s just that people care. It’s a lot of coaches who care. They’re just not there for their kid. We practice a lot throughout the year and the kids want it. It’s just Not fond of summers because their parents signed them up for it. There’s buy-in from everyone involved and I think that’s what makes these teams so special.”

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