Freedom Farm won three divisions
After four days of action, the Bahamas Baseball Association National Baseball Championships are in the books and champions from six divisions were crowned as games were played at the Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium and the Blue Hills Softball Complex as action wrapped up yesterday. Action began on Thursday.
Freedom Farm won three out of five divisions as the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) and Grand Bahama won a division each. The 18-and-under (18U) division championship game between JBLN and Freedom Farm was not finished up to press time.
One of the tightly contested games of the day saw the JBLN 14U team emptying their bullpen to get the slim 11-10 victory over Freedom Farm to win that title on the weekend.
Jordan Miller was able to secure the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for his heroics on the mound in stopping the Freedom Farm’s come back in the sixth and final inning.
Ken Adderley, manager of JBLN team, spoke about his team’s comeback victory.
“We just had to cut down on our errors because we played this team yesterday and we know we could have beat them once we had less errors,” Adderley said. “We needed to play the fundamentals, so we could beat that team. We just had to keep fighting and once we did that, we knew they were going to make the mistakes and errors.”
Freedom Farm led 6-0 at the end of the fourth inning and looked to be on the way to a shutout victory. A break in the game caused by an umpire change was what JBLN needed as they scored six runs at the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at six runs. Freedom Farm scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the 7-6 lead. The top of the sixth inning saw JBLN scoring five runs to take the 11-7 advantage.
JBLN needed to pitch and defend well to win the game. The pitching was off for JBLN early in that inning as Freedom Farm batters were walked with bases loaded. Miller took to the mound after JBLN led 11-9. He gave up one run before he found his footing to give his team the win.
The 12U game saw Grand Bahama taking home their only trophy to the second city with an 11-4 win over JBLN. The win also means that they will represent The Bahamas at the Caribbean Little League World Series Qualifiers set for July. Manager for the Grand Bahama team, Donovan Cox, was happy to take the trophy to Grand Bahama.
“These boys worked for this and the hard work paid off. My pitcher, Malique Israel, is a work horse and it shows – remember the name,” Cox said. “The plan was to represent The Bahamas and it feels great to get the opportunity. The work is not done and we have to get these guys ready.”
There was no doubt that Israel was going to be the MVP as he pitched all six innings and had 18 strikeouts and gave up just four runs. He also played a role on the batting side coming away 2-for-3 at-bat and had two runs batted in.
Freedom Farm walked away with the 16U division as they took care of Legacy Baseball League out of Grand Bahama 11-2. Freedom Farm’s manager, Ray Stubbs, was confident that his players were going to get the win.
“We had a great tournament,” Stubbs said. “The boys had a slow start, but they were able to play Freedom Farm baseball. The players know each other a long time and they fed off of each other and they gel well.”
Winning the 10U division was Freedom Farm. They blanked the Legacy team 12-0 in a dominating victory. It was a foregone conclusion after the first inning when they went up 9-0. They had six hits in the game.
The MVP was won by Freedom Farm’s first baseman Carmelo Wallace.
The 8U coach pitch division also went like the 10U with Freedom Farm winning convincingly. This time, they took care of JBLN with an 11-3 victory. They did most of their damage in the first three innings scoring three, five and three runs, respectively.
Freedom Farm’s Christian King won the MVP for that division. He went 3-for-3, had three RBIs and one run.
Next year’s edition of the baseball nationals will be held on Grand Bahama.