The Big Spring Bulldogs 8U baseball team won the 2019 Utz SnackTown Showdown 8U Baseball Tournament at the Hanover Little League Sunday by defeating the Eagle Baseball Club 6-4 in the championship game.

The Big Spring Bulldogs finished the tournament with a 5-0 record and outscored their opponents by a combined score of 45-15. Along the way they picked up wins over the Bulldog Baseball Club from Hanover, 10-3, the Keystone Nationals, 10-3, the PA Titans, 11-5, and the Bagel Bombers (DE), 8-0.

Leading the Bulldogs’ offensive onslaught over the course of the weekend was Joven Strine (3 doubles and 3 triples, 9 RBIs and 7 runs scored), Branson Motter (3 singles, 1 double, 1 triple, 6 RBIs and 8 runs scored) and Easton Barrick (2 singles, 3 doubles, 6 RBIs and 4 runs scored).

Zane Zimmerman reached base 11 times from the leadoff spot – plating seven runs. Konner Graham collected six RBIs on three hits – including a double – and scored three runs. William Bechtold reached base 10 times and led the team with nine runs scored. Adding singles were Jocelynn Gayman (2 RBIs, 2 walks), Aiden McGuire (3 RBIs, 2 runs), Blake Etter (3 walks, 1 run), Daryn Kunkel (2 RBIs, 1 run), Easton Feaser (1 RBI, 2 runs) and Easton Witmer (2 RBIs, 2 runs).

Their defense also shined during the weekend, as the Bulldogs held their opponents to just 15 runs scored. Highlights included an unassisted double play from Kunkel in left where he caught a line drive and raced to the second base bag to double off the baserunner.

Etter made a great catch of a line drive in right field. Zimmerman hustled off the pitcher's mound to make a slick diving catch short of third base. Feaser, the Bulldog second baseman, picked up a loose ball on an overthrow and fired to third base to nail an advancing runner, and McGuire joined the defensive party by snagging a hot line drive at third base before it could reach the outfield.

On the mound, Strine paced the team with 18 strikeouts in seven total innings, followed closely by  Zimmerman (17 strikeouts, 9 innings) and Bechtold (11 strikeouts, 5.1 innings).

McGuire walked only one batter and fanned three in two innings pitched, while Feaser surrendered just two hits to go along with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work.

The Bulldog 8U baseball team is made up of local players from Newville and Shippensburg and are coached by Scott Bechtold, Mark Graham, Ryan Zimmerman and Ben Motter.


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