Midland Bandits qualify for AABC Youth World Series; win East Regional Tournament

August 6th, 2010    Author: Richard Crawford    Filed Under: Sports

The Midland Bandits qualified for the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) Sandy Koufax Youth World Series. The tournament will take place in Surprise, Ariz., that is located near Phoenix.

The Bandits, based in Clermont County at the Midland Fields that are located near Amelia, earned their way to the AABC World Series by winning the East Central Regional Tournament that took place at the Midland Fields that are next door on the west side of Amelia High School.

The Braves were undefeated in all five games they played in the East Central Regional.

"They played very well. They played with a lot of great team work and a tremendous amount of team spirit," said Gary Simon, an Amelia resident who is the head coach of the Bandits. "They played the entire tournament with a lot of hustle and desire."

The Bandits, who will represent Clermont County and Greater Cincinnati in the Youth World Series, is one of eight teams competing in this tournament. The other regional qualifiers come from the tournaments of North, South, East, West, Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest.

The other squads that qualified for the World Series are All-Star Baseball Academy (Az.), Carolina School of Sports (Puerto Rico), Concealed Security Dodgers (Mich.), Southmoore Sabercats (Ok.), Warrior Baseball Club (Az.), West Covina (Ca.), and Youth Service Bombers (N. Y.).

The Youth 14 years of age squad began the tournament with a 17-3 victory over the Indiana Mustangs.

The offensive leaders for Midland were Erik Clarkson who had three hits and scored two runs, Jacob Niggemeyer and Nate Verst who both had two hits and two runs scored, Paul Spauldiing who had two hits and two runs batted in (RBI), Jacob Smith who scored twice and had two RBI, Karl Ellison who scored a couple of runs, and Kyle Kramer who drove in two teammates. Ellison was the winning pitcher.

The Gibsonburg (Ohio) Golden Bears received a 16-1 drubbing.

Smith was an impressive star at the plate hammering a home run and driving in two teammates and scored two runs himself, Steven Asbury also clobbered a round tripper and scored two runs, Derek Varner drove in three Bandits, Jacob Richmond and Kramer both hit safely a couple of times, and Mikel Merker and Ethan Bryant both tallied two runs. Bryant was the victorious pitcher.

The next victim of the Clermont County squad was the Butler County (Ohio) Cubs by a 16-8 final count.

Zach Shannon and Niggemeyer were a two-men offensive attack. Shannon muscled out two home runs among his three hits, drove in four teammates, and scored every time he got on base and Niggemeyer also smashed a four baser in his two hits and plated four runs. Smith batted in three runs and scored an equal number himself, Richmond had three hits and scored each time, and Clark crossed the plate twice. Verst hurled the triumph from the mound.

The Northwood (Ind.) Panthers were also disposed, they by a 13-1 thrashing.

Asbury powered the Midland offense by having three hits, and four RBI, and scoring a pair of runs, Niggemeyer had two each of hits, runs scored, and RBI, Spaulding successfully hit twice and scored both times, and Roberts also added two hits to the winning effort. Spaulding earned the win on the hill.

The tournament championship was achieved by beating the Butler County Cubs for the second time 5-2. The Cubs emerged from the losers' bracket with a little more confidence and provided the Clermont County squad with its first serious competition.

This time Richmond was in the forefront of the offensive surge by hitting successfully two times and scoring three runs and Shannon had two RBI. Niggemeyer became the fifth winning pitcher in the tourney for Midland.

The Bandits have now compiled an impressive record of 48-13 and this includes a championship in the Kings Classic that was played in Blue Ash, second place in the Early Classic that took place in Harrison, O., and an eighth place finish among 54 teams in the prestigious World Wood Bat Showcase Tournament that took place in Marietta, Ga.

The roster of the Bandits and their playing position and the school each player will be attending the 2010-11 school year is as follows:

Derek Varner, second base, Ryle (Ky.) High School; Mikel Merker, catcher and right hand pitcher, West Carrollton (Ohio) Junior High School; Karl Ellison, catcher and right hand pitcher, Walnut Hills High School; Trey Barron, leftfielder and rightfielder, Walnut Hills High School; Jacob Niggemeyer, first base and right hand pitcher, Powell (Ohio) Junior High School; Steven Asbury, third base and right hand pitcher, Reynoldsburg (Ohio) High School; Erik Clarkson, outfielder and right hand pitcher, Ryle (Ky.) High School; Brandon Wells, shortstop and second base, Covington (Ky.) Junior High School; Trevor Simon, outfielder and left hand pitcher, Amelia High School; Michael Nelson, outfielder and left hand pitcher, Ryle (Ky.) High School; Ethan Bryant, shortstop and right hand pitcher, Lakota East High School; Jacob Smith, first base and right hand pitcher, Greeneville (S. C.) High School; Kyle Kramer, third base and right hand pitcher, Scott (Ky.) Junior High School; Paul Spaulding, shortstop and right hand pitcher, LaSalle High School; Zach Shannon, outfielder and right hand pitcher, Moeller High School, an Amelia area resident; Nate Verst, second base and right hand pitcher, Brossart (Ky.) High School; Chad Roberts, second base and right hand pitcher, Wilmington High School; and Jacob Richmond, shortstop, Oak Hills High School.

Head coach Simon's assistant coaches are Danny Bell of Cincinnati and Bub Wells of Taylor Mill, Ky.
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