MILLEDGEVILLE — Coming off a rocky season where the Orange Crush travel baseball team experienced both ups and downs, the local 10 and under squad defied the odds winning the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Class-AAA World Series held in Atlanta Sunday.
The Crush defeated the Home Plate Chili Dogs out of Peachtree City with a score of 5-3 to finish 7-1 in the tournament that began on Wednesday, improving their overall team record to 34-17 for the year.
“This is our third tournament win of the year, but this is the most special,” Lee McLemore, head coach, said. “It blows my mind that we went over there and pulled this off with the caliber of teams that were there. We started and ended with a win.”
Though the team played through rough patches after winning its first tournament of the year, McLemore and his coaches, Ryan McDonel, David Dyer, Jamey Williamson and Jimmy Jones, had the boys playing their best at the USSSA World Series.
“We started this year with a bang, meaning we won our first tournament and our expectations have been kind of high. It was a surprise that they played a complete tournament from start to finish,” McLemore said. “They played play-to-play and did everything you’re supposed to do. I’m not surprised that they could do it; I’m just surprised that they were able to put it together after our rocky season.”
Gaining momentum with a win in the team’s tournament opener, the Orange Crush played mistake-free baseball to earn their World Series victory.
“In AAA baseball, it’s a matter of who makes the mistakes, and we didn’t make mistakes,” McLemore said. “They played extremely well from start to finish. Our first five or six games, I think we had five errors.”