What began in Arlington has become an East Coast road trip and championship journey that will end in southern Florida for the 9-under Arlington Babe Ruth Storm baseball team.
Having won district, state and region tournaments already this summer, the Storm (24-6) have qualified for the 9-under Babe Ruth World Series in Jensen Beach, Fla. The competition begins July 31 with pool-play rounds.
It is the first Arlington Storm squad to reach a World Series at any age level from 8-under to 12-under.
“This team continues to get better,” Storm manager Jeff Groharing said. “We knew we had a really good group of athletes, and we thought we could compete well at states. We won that, then played at a high level at regionals and were able to hang on and win some close games against some really good teams. Now we have to keep working hard and minimize the errors when we play at the Series.”
The Storm finished 5-1 at the Southeast Regional Tournament in Snow Hill, N.C., nipping Western Raleigh, 5-4, in the championship game behind eight hits and making no defensive errors.
Michael Groharing had three hits in that win, Nate Sadosky had two hits and two RBI and Sam Pyser had a hit and two RBI. Miles Quinn pitched five innings of two-hit ball, allowing one run, fanned seven and walked one.
“We’ve had solid pitching and have played great defense throughout tournaments, with guys making a lot of plays,” Jeff Groharing said
In the semifinals, Arlington topped Jacksonville Beach, 3-1, and routed Glen Allen of Virginia, 16-7, behind 19 hits in a first-round playoff game. Prior to the playoff round, the Storm went 2-1 in pool play.
Against Jacksonville Beach, Theo Henson and Quinn pitched. Cole Nindorf had two hits and Sadosky had a hit and an RBI. Other hits went to Henson, Sam Lillis and Cole Howard.
Against Glen Allen, John Anderson, Nindorf (two RBI) and Quinn (two doubles) each had three hits. Michael Groharing added two hits and three RBI. Will Bruce had two hits and two RBI and Gavin Vaughan had two hits, including a triple.
Vaughan (five strikeouts) and Nindorf handled the pitching.
In their region pool-play games, the Storm defeated Western North Carolina, 7-1, and Winterville, N.C., 15-5. They lost to East Bay, Fla., 12-3. Henry Juza and Nathan Donahue are other players for the Storm.
At the state tournament in New Kent, Arlington went 3-0, defeating Williamsburg, 6-3, and New Kent twice by 10-5 and 7-2, scores.
In the District 7 Tournament at Barcroft Park, Arlington also finished 3-0, with wins over Herndon, 10-2, and Pioneer by 13-3 and 12-3 finals.
The team’s overall tournament-playoff record is 11-1 entering the World Series.