The Mena All-Star baseball team, sponsored by Non-Stop Fitness, participated in the 8U Coach Pitch USSSA All-Star State Tournament in Conway, AR June 24th and 25th.
Each of the 19 All-Star teams played two games on Saturday to determine Sunday’s bracket rankings. Mena went into Sunday’s tournament ranked 16th and their first game started at 9am. Mena defeated Montgomery County 14-6, which set Mena up for a contest versus the #1 ranked Heber Springs All-Stars at noon. Mena’s bats stayed hot and they crushed Heber Springs by a score of 15-3, progressing to their third game of the day. At 3 p.m., Mena was set for a showdown against the Sheridan All-Star team. Mena continued to roll against Sheridan, winning handily 19-10. At this point in the tournament, the 7 and 8 year old Mena team was hot, tired, and injured. The young team had players with nose bleeds, sprained ankles, jammed fingers, shin splints, and nausea. Despite the injuries and exhaustion, the boys showed tremendous heart and every player was determined to push through and give it everything he had.
Their fourth game of the day against Maumelle, took place immediately following the Sheridan victory with only a ten minute break. Mena had reached the final four and only needed to secure one more victory to play in the State Championship game. Mena took a two run lead into the bottom of the last inning with zero time left on the clock. Despite their best efforts the team fell just short as Maumelle scored three runs to win 18-17.
This exceptional Mena All-Star team was composed of Brayden Renick, Bayden Garrett, Ty Thomas, Lucas Johnson, Bryer Landrum, and Braxton Cummings from Mena; Eli McCullough and Jackson White of Mt. Ida; Jaron and Jaxon Hadley of Acorn; and Sawyer Galloway and Ashton Baker of Caddo. Assistant coaches were Sarah Renick, Thad Thomas, and Seth Garrett while head coach, Brad Renick, also assumed pitching responsibilities.