CLOVER -- A group of Clover kids are soaring high after an impressive season followed by a turbulent tournament run.
The Blue Eagle Transport, a Major League team for 11-12 year olds, went 12-0 in the regular season and went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. But they had a reality check when they lost to the No. 3-seeded Braves.
"We were outplayed in that game," said head coach Scott Moses. "They hit the ball well. Out-played us. Out-coached us. They wanted it more than us and took it."
The Blue Eagle Transport limped into the championship game in the losers' bracket. To take it all, they needed to win three straight, including two games against the Braves.
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"We came back," Moses said. "Our boys rallied through the losers' bracket and got back to their A-game. They were ready to play the Braves in that championship game."
They beat the Braves 7-6 the first game and 12-10 in the second game.
The sweet smell of revenge capped a season Moses and the players will likely never forget.
"I've got the best kids," said Moses, adding six of the players have been with him throughout their entire time in the league organized by the Clover Recreation Department.
Moses said his team has heart.
At the beginning of the season, Moses and the other coaches told the players to always keep a glove in front of their face. But one player took a ball to his face during practice.
"He was out for one game and back a week later," Moses said. "These guys never quit."
Every game was a battle, and toward the end of the season, the fact that they were undefeated put a big target on their backs.
"We were a wanted team," he said. "We had some really close games, but we got through them."
They relied heavily on the pitching talents of Jake Price, Taylor Hoover and Braden Jacquot.
At bat, the players got hits and key bunts when it mattered most, Moses said.
Now many of the players are prepping for All-Stars.
"We selected 12 of the best players in the league," Moses said.
Clover will host the district tournament beginning July 7. Practice has already started.
York will host a sub-district tournament June 30 through July 3.