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Mid-County Wins Senior Babe Ruth World Series

Mid-County, Texas is back on top after winning the Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series held in Ephrata, Washington.  The Southwest Champions downed Cape Cod, Massachusetts 6-0.

Mid Co CelebrateIt was a dream run for the Southeast Texans.  Along the way, the team made up of primarily players from Nederland and Port Neches-Groves, defeated defending champion Alabama Raw Dogs (Mobile, AL) and 2015 champion Columbia Basin River Dogs (Ephrata, WA).

Mid-County jumped out on top early, putting up a three-spot in the first after taking advantage of a pair of Cape Cod errors, while also getting hits from Kody Kolb, Logan LeJeune, Chase Kemp and Zach Friesz.

Mid-County would then put the game away in the sixth, scoring three runs highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Burke Badon.

Zach Clark batted .476 during the World Series to lead Mid-County.  Connor Kemp came in to start the game but left after third inning warmups due to an injured left shoulder.  His brother, Chase Kemp would relive him and throw shut out baseball the rest of the way.

For players from Port Neches-Groves, the victory capped off an amazing stretch that started with a Class 5A State Championship in June.

Logan LeJeune is one of those players.  “It’s a great feeling to know that the hard Mid Co 2work is paying off.  I was just really lucky to have two great teams to share it with, but I couldn’t do it without the big man upstairs that blessed me with my abilities.  Most of all I just feel blessed.”

Pitcher Brandon Morse took home the World Series MVP award after earning the Class 5A State Tournament MVP in June.  “It feels amazing, it’s been a great senior year for me, Jacob (Vaughn) and Logan (LeJeune).  This has definitely been the best year of my life.”

Mid-County mirth was floating in the air Sunday evening, August 13, as family and friends of the Mid-County Babe Ruth 16-18 team members cheered in the parking lot just outside Nederland High School’s Metreyon-Delahoussaye Field parking lot and welcomed them home from the Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series in Ephrata, Washington.  Mid-County arrived home from the Houston airport on a tour bus escorted by local policy.

Mid County Trophy“It’s a pleasure to have a great community that comes out and supports us,” said outfielder Koby Kolb, who was hoisting the championship trophy.  “None of us expected to have anything like this when we came home.  It’s great to have for this community, this team and this organization here.”

The scene of an estimated 150 well-wishers, including Nederland’s own cheerleaders and Westernaires dance team, celebrating with balloons, congratulatory posters and a giant cookie was plenty for Mid-County manager Ben Rogers to comprehend, right?

“No,” he said.  “Never expected this.”

Winning it all, in fact, was what the Mid-County players expected and nothing less, said Kolb, a 2016 Nederland graduate. 

The party?  Not so much.

“Our only goal was to win it all,” Kolb said. “There was no looking back once we won the regional. We got the job done and we came back with the trophy.”

And after 41 years of coaching youth baseball, fellow assistant coach Jimmy Collins waited for a day like Sunday.

“It’s about as special as you can get,” said Collins. “It was unbelievably good. I’m so proud of everybody, from all the league guys all the way through.”

Mid-County had a big advantage in getting to stay under one roof together for the entire tournament.

Sure, the World Series — as do many postseason youth tournaments — had its share of host families welcoming players to Ephrata, but some of them got to host their own children as players from Columbia Basin and Moses Lake, two teams under the same River Dogs program, got to sleep in their own beds.

That allowed the family of Corey and Lavone Rae Buchert to take in all 16 Mid-County players.

“They kept us like their own and brought us everything everywhere they would do stuff,” Kolb said. “That had to be my favorite part of the trip. The other [favorite] one was winning it.”

After each game, the Mid-County players got to see a broadcast of what happened at Johnson-O’Brien Stadium in the Buchert home.  “We would all get together and watch the game and critique what we did wrong and watch over and see what we could do better,” LeJeune said. “It got us closer. We hadn’t been playing that long with each other.”

The Mid-County players played on different teams during league play before they were selected for tournament action.

Devaun Anderson, a 2016 Port Arthur Memorial graduate, was one of four players with college experience for Mid-County this season.

“It’s a good feeling,” the soon-to-be Huston-Tillotson University sophomore said. “It’s exciting to be No. 1 in the country and the No. 1 team in Babe Ruth. I’m kind of speechless right now.”

Coming home a champion, literally, was significant for soon-to-be Nederland junior Conner Kemp because the championship game was the last time he would play with his older brother, recent graduate and future Lamar player Chase Kemp.  “We’ve been playing together forever,” Conner Kemp said. “It’s a really good experience to play with all these people. Most of them will be too old to play next year. I’ll just miss most of these players.”

Mid Con City Welcomje

2017 BABE RUTH 16-18
 ALL WORLD SERIES AND ALL-DEFENSE HONORS

All-World Series Team

All-Defense Team

 OF

 Dakota Fingar

 Columbia Basin, WA

 OF

 Wrigley McGuire

 Tucson, AZ

 OF

 Cole Nichols

 Charleston, MO

 OF

 Arcenio Martinez

 Columbia Basin, WA

 OF

 Will Leathers

 Cape Cod, MA

 OF

 Josh Williams

 Moses Lake, WA

 1B

 Chase Kemp

 Mid-County, TX

 1B

 Nick Lopez

 Columbia Basin, WA

 2B

 Logan LeJeune

 Mid-County, TX

 2B

 Ty Householder

 Charleston, MO

 3B

 Zack Clark

 Mid-County, TX

 3B

 Dominic Signorelli

 Moses Lake, WA

 SS

 DeMarco Vasquez

 Tucson, AZ

 SS

 Zach Friesz

 Mid-County, TX

 C

 Ryan Proto

 Cape Cod, MA

 C

 Keegan Graff

 Tucson, AZ

 P

 Mike Doherty

 Cape Cod, MA

 P

 Austin Hicks

 Charleston, MO

 P

 Brandon Morse

 Mid-County, TX

 U

 Trey McDaniel

 Charleston, MO

 U

 Braden Cox

 Charleston, MO

 

 

 

Most Outstanding Player:  Brandon Mores (Mid-County, TX)    Batting Champion: DeMarco Vasquez - 0.533 (Tucson, AZ)

Team Sportsmanship Award:  Charleston, MO

 

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