World Series bound
A dream has become a reality for the Rutherdfordton-Chase IM 50/70 All-Stars. With an 8-2 win over Florida Thursday morning in Spring Hill, Tenn., the team is headed for the IM World Series next week in Livermore, Calif.
"These guys are super excited," head coach Curtis Snethen said after the win. "I don't think it's really settled in yet and it probably won't until they board the plane for California."
Things started bittersweet for the North Carolina representatives as slugger Adam McDowell tripled in the first inning but sprained his ankle sliding into third base and took a trip to the hospital for treatment.
"This is a big loss for us because he's our hardest thrower on the mound," Snethen said. "Not to mention he's a slugger for us that we rely on to drive in runs. Luckily we have a lot of hitters to make up for that loss of production."
After the dust settled, Joe Conner belted a double to center to score McDowell's replacement, Sam McArthur.
Conner led the way for Rutherfordton going 3-for-3 with a double, single, home run and three RBIs.
Levi Parks doubled in Jacob Knox who was running for Conner to give the team an early 2-0 lead.
North Carolina never looked back as they added five runs in the third inning and an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Cameron Snethen started the night on the mound and pitched six complete innings allowing just one hit and two runs while striking out seven Florida batters.
Parks closed the game with a perfect seventh inning. He also had a big day at the plate going 3-for-3 with three doubles.
Cameron Snethen and Jace Crowe each added an RBI.
After the final out, the celebration was on as the team from North Carolina piled on top of one another on the mound.
The team returned home Thursday night but have only a few days before they board a plane in Nashville headed for Livermore, Calif. to represent the Southeast and take on five other US teams and four international squads.
"I just want them to go and enjoy the time," Snethen said. "I want them to make memories. I don't want this trip to be about work."
Snethen, who is also a team parent, admits that this accomplishment is incredibly special to him as well.
"It's every coach's dream to coach kids to the highest level," Snethen said. "This is a special group of kids that I've had for a long time. It's exciting to see them accomplish this. They represent our town and so much more."
The team can be followed on their Facebook page, 13U NORTH CAROLINA STATE CHAMPS, for those who wish to donate to the team or travel to see them play.