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Jul, 2017

Chesterfield, Virginia wins second annual Pinto 8U National Championship

It was a sensational second annual Pinto 8U National Championship at Cusumano Sports Complex in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, as 70 games were played in a matter of three days, featuring teams from PONY's East, North and Caribbean Zones. But after overcoming a 12-11 pool play loss to 2016 finalist Washington, Pennsylvania, Chesterfield, Virginia won four-consecutive games, including a 14-3 victory in the championship game of the championship bracket to win the Pinto 8U 2017 National Championship.

Championship Game recap: Chesterfield, Virginia 14 Lexington, Kentucky 3

Lexington entered the championship game undefeated with four final day wins by six runs or more, while Chesterfield overcame a competitive 10-7 first championship bracket match against Aruba, to then beat Summerfield, North Carolina by 10 runs, to meet up with Lexington for the title. Chesterfield started off the game with a proverbial bang, as Matthew Hartsfield led off the game with a double and Braeden Shores advanced him to third base on a single. Cason Chambers knocked in Hartsfield with a single to left to make the score 1-0, and then a Grayson Morris single scored Shores from second. Jackson Bunn crushed a double to centerfield, scoring Chambers and Morris also beat the throw home to increase Chesterfield's lead to 4-0. Three-consecutive outs then ended the inning.

Lexington went down in order in the first, but cut into the Chesterfield lead in the second when Duncan Sweet scored Donovan Griggs on a ground out (4-1). In the top of the third, the Chesterfield bats once again came alive, as a leadoff triple by Shores resulted in a run when Chambers hit a sacrifice fly to right field (5-1). Morris singled and then scored on a Bunn triple that was hit hard down the third base line (6-1). Virginia's Thomas Lipscomb, Jr. grounded out to Kentucky's pitcher Jaxson Leugers, but Bunn beat the throw home to score the last run of the inning (7-1).

Chesterfield continued to add to its lead in the top of the fourth, when Shores came through, once again, singling home Matthew Thompson to make it 8-1 Virginia. Chambers scored Hartsfield during his next at-bat, a ground ball single through the infield, completing the scoring for the inning (9-1 Chesterfield). Lexington showed life in the bottom on the fourth when Luis Alejandro Zamora led off the inning with a double and Griggs moved him to third with a single, but a double play on a fly out to center field and then a ground out ended the Lexington scoring threat.

Six-consecutive Chesterfield singles, a triple and then another single by Shores led to a 14-1 Chesterfield lead, putting the 10-run rule into effect and giving Lexington one last half inning to score at least four runs. The "Southwest Stampede" showed toughness and relentless grit at the plate, but base running cost them during their potential comeback. Benjamin McFadden led of the inning with a single, but was thrown out at second after the next at-bat, when Grant Evans hit a tweener pop fly single into the shallow outfield. Leugers then singled to center, but he was caught during his run to second base on a ground ball single by Brayden Fitch to third base. Stephen Franklin-Key, IV hit a clutch double to center field, scoring both Evans and Fitch to make it 14-3 Chesterfield, but Asher Gatewood's line out to second secured the Virginia victory and fireworks exploded in the outfield.

As is the case often in coach pitch Pinto play, offense was the name of the game, as both teams combined for 31 hits in the contest. Six Chesterfield batters recorded multi-hit games, and three hitters had multi-RBI in the team's first Pinto 8U National Championship.

Stats: click here.

Following the conclusion of the tournament, PONY tournament officials nominated the following players to the Pinto 8U National Championship All-Tournament Team. Each player received a trophy for their tournament accomplishments:

2017 Pinto 8U National Championship All-Tournament Team
Ayvari Chandler - Washington, Pennsylvania
Marcus Davis - Lawrenceville, Illinois
Jaxton Dees - Waltonville, Illinois
Jaxton Faulkenberry - Herrin, Illinois
Eli Fleming - Murphysboro, Illinois
Asher Gatewood - Lexington, Kentucky
Abran Girten - Carmi, Illinois
Riley Gladwell - Summerfield, North Carolina
Brady Haines - Odin, Illinois
Joshua Harris - Suffolk, Virginia
Luis Hernandez - Bronx, New York
Irvine Maximilian - Aruba
Alexander Meece - Whiteland, Indiana
Grayson Morris - Chesterfield, Virginia
Colin Poat - Paducah, Kentucky
Logan Shelton - Sparta, Illinois
Jaxon Simmons - Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Abrahan Vizcaino - Dominican Republic
Garyson Webb - Vienna, Illinois
Lane Wells - Olney, Illinois


Chesterfield, Virginia - Pinto 8U National Champions

Lexington, Kentucky - Pinto 8U National Finalists

Suffolk, Virginia - Pinto 8U National Third Place Team

Summerfield, North Carolina - Pinto 8U National Fourth Place Team

Carmi, Illinois - Pinto 8U National Consolation Champions

Paducah, Kentucky - Pinto 8U National Consolation Finalists

Whiteland, Indiana - Pinto 8U National Consolation Third Place Team

Murphysboro, Illinois - Pinto 8U National Consolation Fourth Place Team

Final Tournament Scores (links)

The Pinto 8U National Championship will be returning to Mt. Vernon, Illinois in 2018. If interested in participating, please contact PONY North Zone Vice President Steve Miller at

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