20 teams from all over the State headed to Portage, MI to compete for the 2018 Michigan BPA State Tournament this past weekend. With tons of talent at the West Portage Baseball Complex, Saline earned their status of State Champs.
“Time and time again these boys continue to perform on the field and continually earn themselves wins. Our boys came together and outplayed everyone that got in their way. As usual, we played great defense, pitched well and kept the bats hitting. I've watched these boys develop over the past years and couldn't be more proud of the ball players they have become. It really was fun to watch and I feel so lucky to have been a part of their experience,” said Coach Andy Gottfried.
Gottfried started this team 7 years ago with young 8-year-old boys. With time, patience and strong coaching he and his assistants turned these boys into a major team that can win with grace and learn from losses.
“We've been working very hard over the last 6 years to get this team where we are today. We've had our ups and downs and we have had to make some very difficult decisions to get to the group we have today. When you have a weekend like we just had, it makes all the hard work, stress and obsessing about the team worth it,” added Gottfried.
The championship game (20-17) was against West Michigan Club House. BPA awarded the Saline Hornets U14 team with commemorative miniature championship baseball bats.
Worth noting about the tournament: 69 runs, 42 innings, 9 great kids = BPA State champs.
This team also won the USSSA State Tournament championship in 2016.
Players in order of picture: Geno Cousino #16, Giuseppe Gottfried #20, Brendan Blossom #11, Alex DeAngelis #9, Liam Yelsma #3, Caleb Koob #10, Wade Roush #35, Ryan Kniesteadt #7, Mitch Foley #1
Head Coach: Andy Gottfried, Assistant Coaches: Dom Foley, Gary DeAngelis, Dustin Koob