By Sue Moore
Vicksburg Bulldogs ages seven and eight baseball team won the District 15 Little League baseball championship on Thursday, June 28 with a big win against Mattawan. The final score was 5-2. The team had traveled to Edwardsburg the week before, earning victories over Centreville, Constantine, and Three Rivers and advancing to the next bracket of play June 25-June 28 in Three Rivers. The team defeated West Portage scoring 9 runs to 1 June 26 and Gull Lake, scoring 5 runs to 0 on June 27 to earn their spot in the championship game Thursday. Congratulations 7/8 Bulldog All-Star Team!
Jessica Allison, a Little League mom, explained the tiers with clarity as her husband is one of the coaches for the championship team.
“The first step in Little League baseball is T-ball. Generally, they’re 4/5 years old with very minimal experience playing the game and they use an actual tee. After the first T-ball season, they go to Coach Pitch, where they learn the game in a more formal manner. The coach actually pitches to them instead of using a tee. These kids are 5/6 years old. Then they move to Machine Pitch and that’s this Bulldog team that won the District championship. They are 7/8 and have played for three seasons, understand the game and concept and have enough baseball knowledge to make the key plays to compete and win a game. They have three outs, unlike in Coach Pitch or T-Ball where they are learning fundamentals. The kids in machine pitch have the maturity to hit and know which direction to run, to slide, to throw the ball in to get an opposing player out. That ball is also coming at them about 40 mph with the machine, unlike both the T-ball and the coach pitch,” she explained.
“This 7/8 year old baseball team had plenty of experience, making them mature enough to play and play well, to play not only all these teams in the 2nd round of championship games, but to win with the scores that they had,” she said.