By Lonnie Huhman,
The 8-9-10 year old Dexter Little League All-Star Team had a good run in this summer’s state tournament, held in Dexter, before losing in the semi-finals.
The team made up of 14 kids from Dexter had their playoff run end on Aug. 6 in the semis against Northeast Little League (Midland) by a score of 7-3.
Head coach Rick Brandt, with help from assistant coaches Tom Arbaugh and Chris Barrett, managed the team that was made up of: Brady Arbaugh, Caleb Barrett, Carson Brandt, Ryan Casavant, Jack Godfrey, Ryan Hempton, Braxton Hopkins, Braylon Jensen, Brady Jones, Luke Jonovich, Holden Niemi, Wyatt Richards, Brandon Rombyer and Jacob Stepaniak.
The team’s playoff run began in the District 3 LL Tournament, which was also hosted in Dexter. There were seven LL teams from District 3: Dexter, Chelsea, Jackson SW, Jackson NW, Ypsi American, Ypsi National and Lincoln.
Dexter won the district tournament and advanced after beating Chelsea 11 to 1 on July 21; Jackson SW 11-1 on July 25 and Jackson SW again on July 27 with a 2-1 victory that saw Carson Brandt pitching five innings and allowing only one hit and one run in the win.
In the State Little League Tournament, Dexter welcomed in 16 teams from across the state. The state tournament saw the Dexter team going 2 and 1 in pool play from August 2-4 with a 9-2 win over Reeths Puffer, 10-5 win over Petoskey and 11-8 loss to St. Clair.
Dexter finished second in the pool and advanced to the quarterfinals, the top 8 teams.
In the quarters, they beat Bay City SW on Aug. 5 by 10-0. Brady Arbaugh threw 40 pitches in four shutout innings, giving up only two hits. Their run then came to an end against the team from Midland.
Jake Stepaniak led the team with a .529 batting average in the state tournament.
“We were proud to win the district tournament and represent Dexter in the state tournament,” Coach Brandt said. “It was great competition all around and our boys rose to the occasion and had a great run, making it to the final four teams in the state of Michigan. Very proud of the way they played, all 14 players were able to contribute and have an impact on the team’s performance.”
The 9-10-11 year old Dexter LL All-Star team also had a good run and made it to the finals of the 9-11 State Little League tournament, before losing to Rockford on Aug. 1.