Sox claim Majors championship in Soldotna
The Homer Little League White Sox (Major division) returned from Soldotna on Saturday. June 24, wearing championship medals from the Soldotna tournament. At the tournament, the White Sox joined teams from Kenai and Soldotna in the six-team event.
"It was a week of close, hard fought games that provided plenty of nail biting moments for all the Homer parents and fans," said coach Mike Hayes.
In the opening game against the Kenai Buckets, the White Sox went into their last at bat down 4-2.
With two outs and a run in, Homer found itself with runners on second and third. Zander Moore drove a game winner into right field providing a walk-off 5-4 victory.
In the second game, the White Sox faced the Soldotna Mariners, a team that earlier in the season had traveled to Homer and soundly defeated the Sox. Against the Mariners, the White Sox jumped out to a quick lead behind the strong pitching of Malachi Raymond. Soldotna's pitching rebounder, however. The Mariners shut down the Sox bats and enabled their offense to creep back into the game.
Cam Wise came in and shut down the rallying Mariners with the tying and winning runs on base. Wise's late heroics gave Homer a 5-4 decision.
In the championship game, Homer faced the Soldotna Red Sox. The Red Sox had recently beaten the Mariners by 18 runs and had landed in the championship via a 21-1 rout of their opponent in the semifinals.
Behind dominant pitching and some strong hitting the Red Sox jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead.
Homer found its groove from there. Behind the gritty pitching of Mylan Johnson and Zavier Hayes, the White Sox fought their way back and claimed a 9-7 victory. Wise provided a clutch sixth-inning double to left field line to give the Sox the lead.
The White Sox pitching depth, solid defense, savvy base running, timely batting, gritty determination and overall team work provided just enough in a tough tournament to bring home a rare and well-deserved Majors championship.
Members of the 2017 Homer White Sox include Luke Nollar, Zander Moore, Cam Wise, Dillon Welty, Zach Marley, Mylan Johnson, Blaise Banks, Jack Hrenchir, Zavier Hayes, Russ Nyvall, Malachi Raymond and Dillon Welty. The team was coached by Mike Hayes and assistants Jim Stearns, Mike Raymond and Kevin Short.