Carroll County Legends undefeated going into state
The Carroll County Legends baseball team is 17-0 on the year and won the 2018 Cal Ripken Jr. 12-year-old district tournament last week in Springdale. The Legends outscored their opponents 39-5.
"These guys have done extremely well," Legends coach Chris Meador said. "They are an outstanding group of kids. We have had this same group of kids for about seven years and just brought them up through the different leagues. It is amazing to watch them grow and get better every year. Our defense is outstanding, as the scores reflect. They are having a hard time scoring on us. We just have a great group of young men and it makes it fun to be a coach."
On the first day of the district tournament, the Legends defeated Pea Ridge, 14-0. Brady Lucas, Drew Dean, Colton Spinning, Ashton Blok, Mason Meador and Logan Isbell all had multiple hits. Brady Smith and Isbell combined for a no hitter.
In the 4-3 win over Mountain Home, Sebastian Holsted, Aspen Linz, Spinning and Dean all had hits. Meador said it was the best defensive game of the year.
"We all got together several years ago and saw that we had something special here with the work ethic these kids have," Meador said. "We will start as early as February each year knowing that the league season doesn't start until June. We will go and hit some early-season tournaments. Try to raise funds to play other teams and get better."
The Legends defeated Springdale 10-1 in the semifinals. Isbell led the team with two hits and the Legends didn't commit an error.
In a championship rematch from a year ago, the Legends beat Mountain Home, 11-1. The Legends scored seven runs in the fourth inning. Isbell, Blok, Lucas, Dean, Meador and Linz all had an RBI in the inning. Linz and Dean each had two hits.
As a result of the championship win, the Legends are on their way to the state tournament next week in Rogers. Last year the Legends lost to Mountain Home in the district tournament, but beat them at the state tournament. After beating Mountain Home in the district championship game this year, he hopes to do it again at state this year.
"I guess you could say our rival is Mountain Home," Meador said. "We have always had to go around them head-to-head to either win districts or state. I'm sure after what happened last year, Mountain Home is going to want a shot at the state title."
If the Legends make it to the championship game of the state tournament, they are eligible to go to the Southeast Regional tournament in Florence, Ala.
"We will have to see how the boys and the parents are feeling after state and if they want to continue," Meador said. "You will see all the states in the southeast down there and it's very competitive."
After winning the state tournament last year, the Legends went to the Southeast Regional tournament and had a great time. If they were to go back, Meador believes his team would be more competitive.
"The kids have picked up their game and improved from last year in terms of overall knowledge of the game," Meador said. "We picked up right where we left off last year. We started off as an offensive team and somewhere midway through the season, we switched and became a defensive team. They have gotten even better. The kids know what to do with the ball in certain situations. Hopefully, the offense gives enough cushion to our pitcher. That's the one thing we need to improve on. You can just tell these kids feel that they are something special. We have had a good league season. We did good at districts and now we will see what we can do down at state."