Dexter Little League wins the District 3 Championship


Dexter's winning team. photo by Ryan Maki

Dexter Little League is this year’s District 3 Champions after a convincing 17 to 3 win on July 10 over the Jackson Northwest Little League team.

The Dexter team, which is made up of the all stars from the Majors division, includes Brady Arbaugh, Caleb Barrett, Carson Brandt, Ryan Casavant, Gabriel Dobry, Ryan Hempton, Owen Hicks, Braylon Jensen, Brady Jones, Luke Jonovich, Holden Niemi, Wyatt Richards and Jacob Stepaniak with Head coach Rick Brandt and Assistant Coaches Tom Arbaugh and Brock Jones.

Playing at home, Dexter’s path to the title began with a win over Jackson NW 16-1 and then a win over Ypsi Arbor American 19-0 and then again over Jackson NW in the championship game 17-3.

Michigan’s District 3 is made up of nine Chartered Little Leagues from Washtenaw County, Jackson County, and Ingham County:
Chelsea Little League
Dexter Little League
Jackson North Little League
Jackson Northwest Little League
Jackson Southwest Little League
Lincoln Little League
Milan Little League
Ypsilanti Arbor-American Little League
Ypsilanti National Little League

Looking over the district tournament, Dexter little leaguer Ryan Casavant said, "Hard work and practice with the help of the coaches and the excitement of the hometown crowd and parents is the motivation."

The team celebrates Holden Niemi's home run in game one of the district tournament. photo By Ryan Maki

In the championship game, Dexter faced off against Jackson NW for a second time after NW was coming off a dominate win of their own, a 12-0 mercy win. Jackson NW was looking to use that momentum in the championship game, according to Dexter’s coaches.

However, it was Dexter’s high achieving performances and game play that put them above the rest.

Dexter gave up only four hits over three games and batted .500 as a team while racking up 38 hits and outscoring their opponents 52-4.

Dexter little leaguer Jake Stepaniak attributes some of the success to a "good energy in the dugout, which everyone feeds off of,” while teammate Holden Niemi said, "It's like we are 13 puzzle pieces and when you put them together you get victory."

Their teammate Brady Arbaugh said it’s helped that most of them have been playing baseball together for like 5 or so years.

The majority of these boys have played Dexter Little League since T-ball, and returning to the state tournament has been the goal as most of this team reached the final four of the Minors Little League baseball tournament as 10 year olds in 2019.

Brady Jones putting some heat on his throw. photo by Ryan Maki

In looking at the big win, Dexter little leaguer Ryan Hempton said, "It feels good to move on because it means our hard work during those practices paid off; we are the best team in our district."

His teammate Braylon Jensen summed up the district tournament well, "It felt good to win."

Another good view of the team effort came from teammate, Luke Jonovich.

"Hard work, a lot of practice and great coaching," he said.

Now Dexter moves onto the state of Michigan Little League Baseball Tournament at Kerby Field in Grosse Pointe Farms, starting Saturday, July 17.

There will be three games of pool play and then the top two from each pool advance to the single elimination tournament. Pool play games for Dexter, include: Saturday 7/17 2:30 p.m., Sunday 7/18 12:45 p.m. and Monday 7/19 3 p.m.

The Sun Times News gives a special thanks to Samantha Brandt for providing the info for this story.

photo by Ryan Maki
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