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Local teams claim four District 8 baseball titles

While the big local winner of the Babe Ruth League baseball tournament this year is the Gainesville-Haymarket Baseball League 13U state championship team, that group was actually one of four Prince William County baseball teams to compete at states.

The 9U and 14U Greater Manassas Baseball League all-stars represented the county too, after also winning the Division 8 title, as did GHBL at the 13U and 16-18 level.

Aside from the 13U GHBL squad, the other three teams had a much more difficult outing in the double elimination state tournament than at districts.

At the 16-18 level, Gainesville-Haymarket started the state tournament at Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights with an 8-6 defeat against Emporia-Greensville on July 10 in a prelude to the difficulty that would follow the two Manassas teams in the first round.

However, Gainesville-Haymarket faced more trouble than the pair of GMBL teams that each won a game in the bottom bracket of the tournament; the senior-most GHBL group came up on the short-end of a 6-5 decision against Lane on July 11.

The 9U Manassas team led off its state tournament earlier that day at the Warhill Sports Complex in Williamsburg with a 26-6 loss against New Kent.

Manassas rebounded with a 12-2 victory over Herndon during the night cap but fell 11-1 against Shenandoah, marking the end of the tournament for the local squad.

A week later in the 14U state tournament that began July 17 at Patriot Park in Fredericksburg, Manassas lost 5-1 in the first round against eventual state champion McLean-Great Falls.

That knocked Manassas into the losers bracket where the team picked up a 15-1 victory on July 18 against Spotsylvania during the first of two games that day.

Yet another major hitting game later that afternoon still couldn't push the team past Greater Fairfax, which won a 12-9 slugfest.

Greater Fairfax lost the next day 11-7 to eventual tournament runner-up Greater Loudoun.

The state tournament wasn't all gloom though for local teams with the 13U GHBL team sweeping its way to the state title with four victories between July 17-20.

Gainesville-Haymarket outscored its opponents 31-9 overall and even claimed the Most Valuable Player of the tournament in pitcher and slugger Jared "J.J." Johnson, who smacked three triples, including two in the finals.

That team has most of the next month off before the Babe Ruth League World Series in Glen Allen.
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