The 12u Dixie Youth baseball Blue Jays of Campbell County have advanced to the state tournament after sweeping Kingston in a best-of-five series at Kingston this past weekend to claim the district championship.
“This is huge,” assistant coach Justin Notaro said. “These kids have practiced throughout the year. Some of them have played in a middle school atmosphere. These kids have been together since they were 5 or 6 years old. To see the confidence as they grow into their skill, physically and mentally is great. It is a huge accomplishment. The goal that we have set as coaches to these kids is to make it to the World Series, and we are one step away. We travel to Harriman where there are eight teams left in the state in Division 1 for 12u. We are five wins away from making it to the World Series.”
The first win didn’t come easy as the Blue Jays trailed by as many as six runs, but two home runs from Koalton Cupp helped them climb out of the massive hole and win 10-9 in extra innings.
Campbell County dominated the next two games and won them by scores of 11-2 and 12-2.
Landon Notaro shined at the plate in game two and contributed a grand slam to the 11-run win.
Braydon Gosnell had two impressive outings for Campbell County in game one and game three, as he gave up just two runs total on the mound.
The team also received the 12u Dixie Youth sportsmanship award.
“It is really special,” Justin Notaro said. “The big goal for us is to do everything the right way. We want to play with 100% effort. We want to have the right attitude, but most importantly, we want to play with sportsmanship. These kids exceed that expectation when it comes to playing other teams. When other teams make good plays, they make sure they know it. They reach out to other teams before the game. They are shaking their hands after the National Anthem, praying with them and fist bumping them. If a player on the other team makes a bad play, our kids will tell them it’s OK and that they will get the next one. They exemplify what it means to have and play with good sportsmanship.”