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Dawgs out to play and win

The Clarkston Riverdawgs 9U team, in front row, left to right, Brock Henley, Jack Anderson, Drew Waite, Matthew McClellan, Connor McClennen; middle row, Ryan Barber, Seth Bacon, Garrett Lanker, Patrick Deardorff, Wade Bonicci; back row, left to right, Team Manager Jeff Waite, Assistant Coach Scott Deardorff, Assistant Coach Tim Henley, Assistant Coach Brad Bacon, Assistant Coach Mike Anderson, and Head Coach Rob McClellan. Photo submitted. (click for larger version)
August 04, 2010 - Hitters fought through five consecutive games to win the Michigan Baseball Players Association Tri-State Showdown.

The Clarkston Riverdawgs 9U team road to victory began on July 16 as they defeated Decatur, 15-1, and Gull Lake Storm, 18-2, in Kalamazoo.

They kept the pace the next day, this time beating Portage Muskies, 11-4.

The championship games on Sunday were hot with the temperature rising into 90 degrees, but the Dawgs were hotter.

"These 8- and 9-year-old kids played unbelievable baseball to pull out two wins on Sunday that would make any travel baseball highlight reel," said Tim Henley, assistant coach.

The boys took on Elite Rapids from Grand Rapids in the semi-final game. The game was close and ended after extra innings were added. The Dawgs took the win, 10-9.

They headed against the Downriver Hawks from Trenton for the championship round.

The Dawgs were down 12-8 in the last inning but with a determined spirit they scored five times to get the win.

"It was a heartstopper," said Henley. "These little guys played fantastic."

The tournament featured 10 teams from Michigan and Illnois in the nine-year-old and under brackets at the Wenke Baseball Complex.

The boys finished their season with a 32-7 record.

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