By Mike Hastings
South Nashville swept their way through the Little League 12U State Championship Tournament, winning four games including the finale in convincing form.
The team, made up of all stars from Franklin, Brentwood and Nolensville, beat Lexington 5-1 in the opener, then bested host Morristown 9-5. In the semifinals, South Nashville beat Tullahoma 8-2.
After winning the losers’ bracket, Tullahoma earned a spot in the finals. There they ran into a South Nashville team that was firing on all cylinders.
South Nashville ace Yuvraj Chauhan tossed a no-hitter and Max Weyenberg and Dominic Monaco each blasted two home runs to lead their team to a 18-3 victory.
“Our boys are getting hot at the right time,” South Nashville coach Randy Huth said.
“Yuvraj has been our ace all season and he definitely didn’t disappoint. He was as good as he possibly could be, and a day after his birthday!,” Huth added.
South Nashville outhit Tullahoma 16-0. Weyenberg drove in six runs with his two home runs, one of which was a grand slam.
In the third inning, it looked like Tullahoma might try and make it a game. Trailing 5-0, they managed to score three runs without getting a hit.
“We decided to have a mental breakdown,” Huth said. After a walk, a hit-batsman and an error, Tullahoma pulled with two runs at 5-3. But that was it.
“We decided to settle down and then just busted loose,” Huth said.
South Nashville would score 13 unanswered runs and mercy-rule Tullahoma in the fifth inning.
Grant Snider went 2-4 and scored three runs for South Nashville. Nolan Maloney went 3-4 and scored twice. Hudson Barton went 2-3 and scored twice. Wes Davis was 1-2 with two runs scored and two RBI. Jude Wascom went 1-1 with a walk, and Evan Bell drew a walk and scored.
South Nashville will now move on to the Southeast Regionals in Warner-Robbins Georgia. They will again need to win four games to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
“We play the opening game on Friday at 10 a.m. against a tough Peachtree City team,” Huth said.
Peachtree is the defending champion and host team. Games will be televised on ESPN Plus, the mobile app. “Which is every boys dream!” Huth laughed.
For seven straight years the winners of the tough District 7 has gone on to capture the Tennessee Little League State Championship. If that holds true again this year, things look good for members of the South Nashville South 12U team.
SNS has won three of those seven previous titles, but the other four, including the last two, have been won by Goodlettsville. When the two teams squared off this year - it was an instant classic.
The two teams battled to a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning when SNS came to bat. Bryson King was able to draw a walk to put the winning run on base. After two outs and two wild pitches, King was able to reach third base.
Catcher Owen Brewer came to the plate and worked the count full, 3-2 with two outs. He drilled the next pitch for a base hit scoring King and giving South Nashville the win.
“What more could you ask for,” said SNS coach Randy Huth. “It’s all a kid could ask for - what a game,” he said.
“Owen has been a rock for us all tournament. People don’t understand how hard it is to catch somebody throwing it 77 mph from 46 feet - it’s like the pros throwing it 99 mph,” the coach said.
South Nashville ace Yuraj Chauhan was the one tossing it 77 mph to earn the win. Max Weyenberg led the offense going 3-3.
Goodlettsville, who won the national championship before losing to Japan in the Little League World Series in 2012, will have to wait till next year.
“Beating them is kinda of special to our guys,” Huth said.
SNS would go on to shutout South Nashville North 9-0 to win the district.
Chauhan was dominant on the mound, tossing a one-hitter and the SNS bats were alive.
“We all came out swinging,” Huth said. Chauhan helped his own cause, going 3-4 with two RBI.
Hudson Barton had two hits and knocked in two runs, while Dominic Monaco also had two hits for SNS.
South Nashville, made up of all-star 12-year-olds from Franklin, Brentwood and Nolensville, will travel to Morristown to compete in the state tourney Saturday.
The winner will advance to the regionals August 3-8. The eight regional winners will square off at the Little League World Series Aug. 16-26 in Williamsport, PA for the national, then world title.