The Little Rock Blues 12s (pictured above) continued its torrid start to the season this past weekend by winning the Arkansas USSSA Fall State Championships in Conway. The Blues went 5-0 overall and outscored opponents by a combined 41-17 to take its third consecutive tournament title. Manager Chris Givens’ team now sports an overall record of 12-1, including a perfect 5-0 In Class mark.
The 12-Open division of this Baseball State Level Two event featured eight teams, two of which were Major classified: the Blues and the Arkansas Shockerz and the rest either AAA or AAA. Each team would play two pool games before being seeded by overall record with average runs allowed serving as the tiebreaker. At that point teams were to be seeded one through eight and placed in a single elimination bracket to crown a champion.
Pool Play started off competitive for the Little Rock Blues as they were pushed by the Arkansas Diamonds (AAA). The Blues overcame the 6-6 Diamonds 3 to 2, but it certainly woke them up as they mercy- ruled the Bulldawgs from Batesville 11-1 in the second pool game. These results yielded a No.1 overall seed for the Blues as they had the lowest average runs allowed figure between the other two 2-0 teams; SouthArk Slam and the Shockerz.
In the quarterfinals the Blues played the eighth seed which meant a rematch of their prior game versus the Bulldawgs. Unfortunately for the latter, the result did not vary much from their pool play meeting as the Blues won 10-1. The top seed was firing on all cylinders heading into a matchup against the Rawlings Arkansas Prospects- Strube whom had just knocked out the Arkansas Diamonds 6-5. The Prospects would hang tight with the Blues for a few innings, but ultimately did not have enough offense to hang with the potent Blues, and lost 10-7.
The title game felt like it was bound to happen from the beginning of the weekend. The two Major classified teams who had been steamrolling opponents needed to play to determine early season supremacy. In the end, it was the Blues who came out on top 7-6 to add a fall championship to their recent accomplishments of a Conway Gold/Silver Ring Classic and Prelude to Fall State Tournament triumph.
Against In Class opponents the Blues are scoring nearly eight runs per game on average while surrendering five. They currently sit in the No.1 spot in the USSSA Points and Power rankings for the state of Arkansas.
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