Following a solid 2nd place showing in the 8U Mountain/River tournament, the 8U West Hartford Thunder turned their attention towards the month-long 8U Beth-Wood tournament. The Thunder gave it their all in a 17 team field divided into two divisions: the American and National.
The Thunder turned in an impressive 6-2 record during round-robin play in the American Division. Parity was at a premium as the Thunder finished the division tied with three other teams (South Meriden, Hebron, Berlin) for first place. Wins came against teams from Avon (2), Oxford, Beth-Wood, Berlin and South Meriden while the team lost tight games against Woodbury and Hebron.
After the conclusion of round-robin play, a tense, single-elimination play-off began on July 23rd. The Thunder defeated Avon 17-5 and avenged an earlier loss to Hebron with a 10-2 triumph propelling the team into the American League Championship game. However, the long daunting trips to Woodbridge finally caught up to them as Beth-Wood, the tour hosts, advanced to the “World Series” with a 9-0 victory over the Thunder.
The Thunder finished with an impressive 13-6 record that included 6 games decided by three runs or less and two games requiring extra innings. Team statistical leaders included: Benny White, Highest Batting Average (.708) and Most RBIs (33); Jaden Kass, Most Doubles (9) and Home Runs (1); Burke Reynolds, Most Runs Scored (34) and Defensive Putouts (64); Jonah Balcerzak, Most Triples (2) and Maddy “Mad Dog” Peterson, Most Defensive Assists (37). Additionally, Burke, Benny and Jayden Pedraza combined to come to the plate an amazing 195 times without a single strikeout among them.
Team members included: Joey Andrews, Jonah Balcerzak, Evan Danyliw, Spencer Ferguson, Jaden Kass, Josh Mayer, Will Moynihan, Jayden Pedraza, Maddy Peterson, Burke Reynolds, Cooper Tantraporn and Benny White.
Coaches included: Manager Winnie Tantraporn, Matt Andrews, Bill Balcerzak, Aimee Crawford, Rob Kass, Rob Peterson and Scott Reynolds.