(Editor’s note: All photographs are property of Rich Schmitt Photography and cannot be reprinted or used without permission.)
It came down to the final game on June 2 to decide the Pinto World Series Championship.
The Royals were leading in the fifth inning.
Before the Pirates came up to bat, the coach spoke to his player by the dugout, reminding them, “This is Pirate baseball, the game isn’t over until they pitch us off the field.”
Then the 7, 8, and 9 years old players hunkered down and started hitting. At the end of six innings, the score was 7-5 in the Pirates favor.
“I hope you’re all here on the 4th of July, because you’re riding in the parade!” one of the Pirates coaches said, as players celebrated and cheered after the game.
The championship could have gone either way. The Royals, coached by Taylor Talt, were ranked first in the Pinto American League with 9 wins and five losses, and breezed through the tournament upper bracket with no losses.
The Pirates, coached by Matt Underwood, were first in the National League with 13 wins and three losses and had gone undefeated through May 11, but then they suffered their first tournament loss to the Yankees and had to win the next five games to stay alive.
Each game was a must win, in order to make it to the Championship game on May 30 against the Royals.
Underwood said after the game, “Every single game they kept battling back.” He said that during the season “the parents created a positive environment. It was fun and positive.”
The Pirate team includes: Beckett and London Allen, Ford Chidsey, Declan Donahue, James Kamdar, Ryan Layfield, Jackson Marshall, Noah, Mehring, Leo Ratner, Everett Somer, Bennett and Nathan Underwood and Lucas Weisman.
After the game the Royals coach had high praise for the Pirates, for his team and the parents and said it was a positive season.
“Every kid got better, they all enjoyed playing together,” Talt said. “All got better as the season went on and they all want to keep playing baseball.”