The 9/10U Mile High All Stars were at the Missoula Playfair Complex this weekend competing for a District 2 title and a chance to host the State Tournament. They earned a first round by from their stellar play in pool play the week prior at the Mt. Jumbo complex.
Their first game was against a Great Falls team who they hadn’t had the chance to play yet. Mile High not only showed up, but they showed out and cut the power to the Electric City 10U All Stars.
Butte came out firing on all cylinders early and often and had an absolute hit parade in the first two innings. Starting with their fearless leadoff hitter Kale “Sweetfeet” Alexander who plays outstanding every chance he steps foot on the diamond, he pitched an incredible game allowing just one run in 4 innings.
He was then followed by Benny “The Jet” Donaldson who always packs a heavy bat but an even better golden glove at short stop and made some very Derek Jeter esk plays at the 6-spot locking the defense down with running mate first basemen Colt “The Wall” Horsley who ate up everything thrown at him. Gavin “his way” Norris laced a beautiful shot down the left field line and garnered a double.
Ridge “The Iceman” Bauer played a great 2 bag and hit the ball tremendously and drove in some big runs as well. Cooper “The Slugger” Coffing played great on both sides of the ball he scored and drove in runs to help his team in a big way, Cooper had a lot of heart, and he can be heard from miles away when he starts rallying his team in the dugout.
Jace “Is on the Case” Graham used his wheels and bat to his team’s advantage., while Nick “The Quick” Kolman filled a great role and used his fast wheels and athleticism to help his team win.
Brysen “The Magnet” Fosness stood in there like a champ and wore another souvenir for his team. Benny Donaldson would lace a shot to dead center scorching the center fielder for the walk off mercy rule win in 4 innings.
Championship Sunday lived up to its name this weekend, and while everything was fine and dandy after a big Saturday win for Butte, Mt. Sentinel was waiting on the other side and remained the only team to beat Mile High thus far, edging them 6-4 in pool play just a week prior.
Benny “The Jet” got the start on the bump and went the full pitching distance that the little league rules would allow him to do.
He fanned batters left and right to start and had some tremendous back up from his other 8 in the field including an absolute laser accurate throw from catcher Mason “The Gun” Lowney to Kale “does it all” Alexander for a brilliant tag at 3 bag. In what was a barn burner of a game and nail biter Mason caught an absolutely incredible game notching the trust of everyone around him.
The big bats of Mt. Sentinel made sure there would be no mercy rule this time around for Mile High as the teams battled back and forth relentlessly, leaving a crowd of already sweaty parents on the edge of their seats.
With two on Cruz “The Missile” Clary was asked what he wanted to drink, and he replied with a “Jack” right back up the gut scoring two for his squad. After a couple of more defensive innings the score was knotted at 4 apiece heading into extra innings.
Cole “The Closer” O’Connor came in for relief of Benny Donaldson, unrattled he struck out two and put his team on his back in the best way possible. Butte had the final hammer and the big dog Cole who just retired a side had his chance to punch his team’s championship ticket and host the State Tournament with 1 out and a runner on 3rd base. He did just that with a bloop shot over a creeping 2 bagger, and Kale “Sweetfeet” Alexander blazed his own chalk line for the go-ahead winning run, and Mile High would go on to win it in stunning fashion 5-4 after 7 innings of play.
After the game both teams were recognized for their dedication, commitment and heart they put on display this weekend, each team got a medal, but the coolest part from the District 2 commissioner in Missoula was this, “Baseball is one of the only sports we don’t present you with a first-place trophy, but rather this, the 8-10U banner. Mile High, you represent our district with pride, and this will stay with you and your league forever.” Butte played a game Saturday and a game Sunday thanks to their great performance in pool play. Congrats Butte players and coaches!
Butte will host the State tournament at Mile Highs complex at Father Sheehan Park in Butte in two weeks, July 27-30th 2023.