King’s Heating is the king of Howard County major league youth baseball for 2013.
The UCT squad topped Russiaville’s Salsbery Garden Center 4-3 in the title game of the Kokomo Tribune-sponsored David A. Kasey Memorial Tournament on Thursday night at Northwestern.
“It feels awesome,” King’s Heating skipper Jeremy Moon said. “As soon as we knew it was over, I just told the kids, ‘This is a life lesson that if you do things the right way, good things come to you.’ We’ve worked hard to reach this point. Not all of them are power hitters, but we play team ball.”
Salsbery scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to surge into a 3-2 lead, but King’s answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 4-3 lead. Elijah Moon drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
King’s relief pitcher Logan Bowser retired Salsbery in order in the top of the sixth to end the game and set off a championship celebration.
“It was awesome to see the kids pull together and just be clutch when we had to be,” Jeremy Moon said. “We knew [Salsbery] wasn’t necessarily Russiaville’s strongest team, but we knew they’d come to play ball and we just had to muscle through it. It could have gone anybody’s way. We had four or five errors in the game — I wouldn’t have expected that out of us, but some of it is jitters. This is a big stage to play on.”
Elijah Moon and Bowser are the squad’s only 12-year-old players. The big stage surely seemed out of reach when they were 9 year olds.
“We were 1-19. This is a huge turnaround,” Jeremy Moon said.
King’s improved to 21-1 with the title win. Salsbery dropped to 15-9.