CLOVER — The never-say-die Indians won every regular-season game in the Clover Parks and Recreation Department’s Minor League Baseball competition.
The Minor League Tournament championship game June 4 at Clover Community Park proved more of the same.
The Indians withstood a challenge from the Dodgers, prevailing 6-5 in a down-to-the-wire nail-biter that preserved the Indians’ unbeaten season, 15-0.
Luke Cassellman delivered the biggest hit of the game in the fifth inning, sending teammate Brandon Waddell across the plate with the winning run in a dramatic conclusion to a well-played game.
Cassellman also pitched the final inning in relief of Logan McAllister, who had a solid four-inning stint as the starting pitcher for the Indians.
“It was a good game,” Indians head coach Timothy McAllister said of the crowd-pleasing effort exhibited by both teams. “The Dodgers played well and hit the ball well.”
“The game was a lot closer than I wanted it to be. I don’t know if my nerves could have taken much more,” he said.
Though pleased with the narrow win, McAllister said, it wasn’t the first time a team had extended the Indians to the limit.
“We had our share of close games during the regular season, including one- and two-run games,” he said. “Our kids responded to the challenge in closely-played regular-season games the way they did in the tournament championship game with the Dodgers.”
McAllister said the players did well to respond with the game on the line when the situation called for it.
“We have a great group of kids,” he said. “You never know what to expect from 9- and 10-year-olds, but our kids never gave up.
“They are super kids who are coachable and don’t mind being told how to play the game.”
While the Indians had timely hitting throughout the season and extending to the postseason tournament, McAllister said, the team’s defensive play was consistent all season.
“We worked our way through one difficult inning in the tournament championship game and played steady defense the rest of the way,” he said.
While McAllister spoke in glowing terms of the players, he said he also is appreciative of the parents. “Our parents have been very supportive,” he said.
McAllister also praised assistant coaches Dan Love, Scottie Sprouse and Todd Bailey for their contributions to the season.
Dodgers head coach Donnie Grice commended his players for a job well done all season.
“Our kids played a great game in the tournament championship showdown,” said Grice. “I am very proud of them.”
Grice said the kids battled hard in the title game and ran out of time with the clock that is used in Minor League play.
“Our kids played hard and practiced hard all season,” said Grice. “They ended the season on a good note, a winning spirit, despite the loss to the Dodgers.
“They are a great group of kids who are very coachable.”