Members of the Spartans 12U travel baseball team from Cluster Springs traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, over the weekend to compete in the Cal Ripken Veteran’s Day Tournament including (front row, from left) Dawson Compton, Brycen Bowen, Colin Hatcher and Ty Throckmorton (second row) Colton Milam, Cam Parkman, Ashton Bowes, Wyatt Carden, Griffin Bryant and Bailee Henderson; (third row) coaches Steve Bryant, Josh Milam and Kevin Henderson.

The 12U Spartans baseball team from Cluster Springs finished off their weekend in the Cal Ripken Veteran’s Day Tournament in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, on Sunday with a lose 5-2 loss in bracket play.

The Spartans were tied with the Hardknox Orioles 1-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning when the Orioles put up four runs to take a 5-1 lead. The Spartans tried to make a comeback in the sixth and final inning but could only get one run on the board and fell to the Orioles by a final score of 5-2.

The loss eliminated the Spartans in the round of eight.

The Spartans were hoping for a better outcome in the tournament, but they faced tough competition from teams around the Southeast. The Spartans scored 52 runs in their four games and only gave up 21, but two close games to the Orioles are what sent them home.

It was a big weekend at the plate for the local team. Ashton Bowes led the way, scoring 12 runs over the weekend and adding 10 hits and seven runs batted in. Bailee Henderson scored nine runs, had seven hits and seven RBIs. Colton Milam scored four runs and had nine hits and eight RBIs. Brycen Bowen also had a good weekend scoring seven runs and adding three hits and three RBIs.

Every member of the team had at least one run scored, a hit and a RBI in the four games played. Griffin Bryant had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. Ty Throckmorton scored five runs, had three hits and two RBIs. Wyatt Carden added four runs, four hits and three RBIs. Cam Parkman also had three RBI’s along with four hits and three runs scored. Colin Milam and Dawson Compton each had 1 RBI. Compton had one hit and four runs scored, and Milam had three hits and two runs scored.

In the Spartans’ loss to the Orioles on Sunday, they outhit the Orioles 7-4 despite losing 5-2. Three of the four Orioles hits came in the bottom of the fourth inning, the inning where they took the lead for good. Two singles, a double and two walks opened up the score late in the game. Two close games against the Orioles that ended in losses where they outhit the winners were all that separated the Spartans from making it to the semifinals and perhaps beyond.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV