The Big Spring Bulldogs 9U travel baseball team completed a perfect 4-0 weekend winning the Mifflin County Summer Bash championship July 12 over the Mifflin County Eagles, 9-5, in Yeagertown.

The weekend tournament began Saturday afternoon with a 10-2 victory over the Mifflin County Eagles in pool play. 

The Bulldogs jumped out to an 8-1 lead after three innings and cruised to the five-inning victory behind excellent pitching from Zane Zimmerman (2 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 4 strikeouts), Easton Feaser (2 IP, 0 runs, 9 hits, 2 strikeouts) and Joven Strine (1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 2 strikeouts).

At the plate, William Bechtold led the way with 2 hits, a single and a double, and Aiden McGuire drove in 3 runs with a triple. Also collecting hits were Blake Etter, Konner Graham, Drew Long, Zimmerman and Strine. Zimmerman and Strine each scored 3 runs.

In the second game of the day, the Bulldogs defeated the Jacks Mountain Ridge Runners 20-8. Leading the 18-hit attack were Zimmerman and Strine with 3 hits apiece. Graham, Bechtold, Feaser, Easton Witmer and Branson Motter collected 2 hits and Etter and McGuire added one apiece. Zimmerman scored three times and scoring twice were Etter, Graham, Strine, Motter, Feaser, Witmer, Chase Crusey and Easton Barrick.

Zimmerman, Strine, Feaser and Bechtold all doubled and Motter hammered two triples. On the mound, the combination of Graham, McGuire, Feaser and Bechtold held Jacks Mountain to only 5 hits while striking out a combined 6 batters.

After earning the one seed for single elimination play Sunday, the Bulldogs went up against the No. 4 seed Jacks Mountain Ridge Runners again to start the day. 

The Bulldog bats remained hot, notching 14 hits in a 12-4 victory. Graham, Strine, Bechtold, Motter, and Long each recorded 2 hits. Etter, McGuire, Feaser, and Witmer added base knocks as 11 of the 12 Bulldogs batters scored runs in what was a well-rounded team effort. McGuire (triple) and Strine (double) smoked extra base hits. Zimmerman and Feaser each pitched 2 innings, allowing a combined 3 hits and 4 runs while striking out 5 batters.

In the championship game, a rematch against the host Mifflin County Eagles, the Bulldog bats started out strong by jumping out to a 5-2 lead after the opening frame and finishing the game with a 9-5 victory. 

Etter, Strine, Motter, Long, Crusey and Witmer came through with hits in the title game. Strine and Witmer legged out triples and led the way with 2 runs apiece. Six Bulldogs collected an RBI, including Etter, Strine, Bechtold, Motter, McGuire and Long. 

On the mound, Zimmerman pitched 2 innings and allowed 2 hits, 3 runs and fanned 2, Strine followed 2 frames allowing 3 hits, 2 runs and striking out 3. Bechtold pitched the final 2 innings and held the opposition scoreless, allowing 1 hit and striking out 3.

Joven Strine was awarded the Bulldog Banger Award, a golden ball, for the weekend based on his excellent play. For the weekend, Strine finished 7-for-11 at the plate with a double, 2 triples, 7 RBIs and 6 runs scored. Defensively, he handled 17 chances at first base with no errors, was on the back end of 2 double plays, using his long reach and stretch to his advantage, and pitched a total of 3 innings giving up 4 hits and 3 runs while striking out 5.

The team is coached by Scott Bechtold, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Graham and Ben Motter.

Wade Zimmerman is the enthusiastic bat boy.

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