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Yankees win the JCLL Majors Championship Tourney over Dodgers

Farmers State Bank Yankees show-off their Johnson County Little League Majors 2021 Championship trophies. The Yankees team members include: Gage Grissom, Gavin Mahala, Sawyer Marshall, Hunter Mcelyea, Caden Woodard, Daniel Plank, Skyler Gentry, Ian Lewis, Scotty Orndorff, Dylan Reece, Ozz Mathews, Evan Stamper, Graig Mcelyea. Coaches Cliff Mahala, Jeff Lewis. Submitted photo

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The Johnson County Little League Majors Championship game was played on June 28, 2021, in Mountain City. The Farmers State Bank Yankees and the Michael Kyte Trucking Dodgers did not waste any time stepping up and giving it all they had from the first pitch to the game’s last play.

Both teams had ten wins and three losses going into the Championship game so that it could have easily been anyone’s game. The coach from the Yankees team discussed what they were up against, “We knew it would be a battle; the Dodgers are a tough and talented team.” He added, “I just told my guys to work hard and believe in themselves, and we would be champions.”

The Yankees held the Dodgers off throughout most of the game with a 5-1 lead. Skylar Gentry added to the Yankees score in the fifth inning when a bad pass sent Gentry on in from his triple hit. The Dodgers came out swinging, though, at the bottom of the fifth, with bases loaded. Jamie Jones got a double with 3 RBI’s. The Dodgers were down two runs going into the sixth inning. The young team was hopeful the momentum would continue going into the last inning.

The intensity was greater than ever for both teams going into the last inning. Yankees player Gage Grissom got a single but was left on the base. The Dodgers had an opportunity for a win with the last bat. The leadoff hitter got on base with a walk, then Coleman Rider stepped up to the plate; he got on base with the fielder’s choice but was thrown out when he attempted to steal a base leaving the Dodgers with two outs.

Hope was not lost though, with two players on base, Brock Jones was ready to make something happen. Jones hit a strong grounder, but Gavin Mahala swept it up and tossed it to Sawyer Marshall for the last out and a 6-4 win for the Yankees.

Both teams fought hard, and it showed throughout the tournament. The Yankees’ defensive game was key to their victory over the Dodgers. Hunter McElyea made three outstanding plays as catcher by throwing out three players who were trying to steal. Gage Grissom, Ian Lewis, and Gavin Mahala also played strong defensively, which helped seal the victory for the team. A big shout-out to Dodgers’ pitcher Brock Jones is a must for striking 12 out of 29 players and gave up ten hits.

Coaches for both teams expressed how proud they were of their teams and were just excited to have such a good season and ready to do it all over again next year.