Pennsbury 11U baseball team is headed back to Florida for Cal Ripken World Series

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What did you do on your summer vacation?

If you were a Pennsbury baseball player, you could count on always having a great answer to that perennial back-to-school query.

The Pennsbury Black 11-and-Under team spent the summer playing baseball, having fun, and winning. Lots of winnings.

First, was the District 3 championship, followed by the Pennsylvania state championship. Next, they were crowned champions of the Mid-Atlantic Region, competing against 300 teams from New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland, as well as Pennsylvania.

That’s a pretty good summer for anyone. But it’s about to get even better for Pennsbury.

This week, the team is headed to the Treasure Coast of Florida to compete against teams from across the nation in the Cal Ripken World Series. This will be Pennsbury’s third time in four years playing in the World Series. The squad won the 8U Cal Ripken World Series in 2019, but the tournament was canceled the following season due to COVID.

“It’s an amazing feat to do it once,” said Michael Geiger, one of the team’s coaches. “When we did it at 8 years old, we had no idea the depth and breadth of the competition.”

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While winning is a priority for the team, the friendships and bonds shared by the boys, most of whom have been playing together since age seven, have proved to be even more important. That’s what helped the kids get through the challenges and uncertainty of the pandemic.

“These boys are growing up together,” Geiger said. “Baseball kept them together during COVID-19 as an outdoor activity. This is something they will remember their entire lives.”

Over the past four seasons, the team has amassed an incredible 165-19 record, with team success being prioritized over individual stats.

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“The best part about our team is that everyone contributes in some way,” said pitcher Kyle Breslin. “No one person does all of the heavy lifting and someone always steps up when we need them to.”

Breslin’s sentiments were perfectly illustrated in Pennsbury’s extra-inning thriller in the Mid-Atlantic Regional semifinals.

Pitchers Logan Shaffer and Matthew Geiger teamed up for 10 innings to hold their opponent to a single run. With the game tied 1-1 in the 10th inning, Matthew Birkenstamm singled, hustling to beat the throw to first, and advancing teammate Brayden Mascia to third base. Reagan Lottier then laid down a perfect safety squeeze to send Mascia across home plate and give Pennsbury the 2-1 win.

It was that type of teamwork and solid fundamentals that helped Pennsbury clinch the Mid-Atlantic championship the next day.

Facing another tie game in late innings, Logan Shaffer led off the seventh with a double and then stole third. Evan Hutchinson’s hit to right center scored Shaffer, giving a jubilant Pennsbury the 8-7 walk-off win — and a return to the World Series.

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“(That’s) why we are successful,” Breslin said. “We all put in the work and step up when we need to.”

“The best thing about my team is that we’ve known each other and played together for a long time,” Shaffer said.

The kids, of course, are thrilled for the chance to return to Florida and play against the best teams in the country. Last year, they made it to the quarterfinals. This year, they’re hoping for more, but either way, it will be a winning experience.

“It’s so fun watching these boys grow up together,” Geiger said. “It is more than baseball; it is life; it is friendship. winning loss And overcoming adversity.”

“The best part of the World Series is getting to play against other great competition,” Shaffer said.

In addition to playing baseball, the kids are also excited about the fringe benefits that come along with a trip to Palm Beach.

“I hope we go back to that restaurant that makes the homemade guacamole,” Shaffer said.

Pennsbury can count on plenty of fans back home in Bucks County cheering for them in the World Series. And, of course, for Shaffer and his teammates to enjoy all the guacamole they can handle.

The Cal Ripken 11U World Series will take place July 29th through August 6th on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Watch online at baberuthworldseries.org or follow Pennsbury’s Facebook page for updates throughout the series.

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