Middle School Baseball
Boynton wins 2nd straight state title
Bulldogs complete perfect 11-0 season
The Boynton Middle School baseball team captured its second straight Tri-County Class S title on Tuesday with a 12-2 five-inning win over Chester in the championship game.
The Bulldogs finished 11-0 overall after winning all nine of its regular season contests and two tournament games.
It was the fourth straight title game appearance for Boynton, which lost six starters from last year’s championship team that went 9-1.
With having to replace six starters from 2012, first-year coach Dutch Stauffeneker was not sure how things would go this season. But he quickly saw the kind of talent he had to work with and realized this could be a special team.
“My goal was to win a banner,” said Stauffeneker. “Once the season started, I knew we were a team that would be hard to beat.”
There was depth at pitching and an offense that found its groove early in the season.
“I knew we had some good players, but I didn’t know the pitching would be as good as it was,” said Stauffeneker. “They stepped right in and dominated all year.”
The Bulldogs cruised through the regular season, also defeating Chester 11-1 in the only other meeting, and outscored their 11 opponents 114-22.
“It was kind of easy to coach a team like that,” said Stauffeneker. “All year we were so dominant against everybody.”
Chester came into the title game on a seven-game winning streak and scored one in the first off Boynton starter Tyler Faulkner. But the deficit was short lived, as the Bulldogs scored five in the bottom of the frame. From there it was all Boynton.
“They hadn’t lost since we played them,” said Stauffeneker.
Faulkner settled down and allowed just one run the rest of the way and the offense took care of the rest. With four runs in the bottom of the fifth, the last one scoring on a passed ball, the Bulldogs reached the 10-run mercy rule to end the game and cap off the prefect season. Faulkner, a seventh grader, allowed just two hits and struck out eight.
“He settled in and really threw well,” said Stauffeneker. “I really wasn’t worried about our pitching. We knew with the depth of our pitching that we weren’t going to give up a lot of runs.”
DJ Turner went 2-for-3 with two bases loaded doubles and five runs batted in.
After going 9-0 in the regular season, Boynton was the No. 1 seed in the Class S tournament and earned a first round bye. In the semifinals, the Bulldogs defeated Auburn 12-7, the most runs they had allowed all season.
Boynton will return eight players from this year’s team.
“It’s nice to have something coming back to build off of,” said Stauffeneker.