A Garner Baseball Inc.’s 8U PONY All-Star team won the inaugural PONY National Championship earlier this summer in Mt. Vernon, Ill. The squad defeated the Washington, Pa. in the final game to complete a remarkable 21-0 record en route to the title.
Garner outscored its five opponents 80-29 in the Section Championships in Garner in late June, then took its level of domination to another level in the East Zone Championships in High Point, outscoring their opponents 90-8 in six games.
Once the team arrived at Mt. Vernon for the national finals, the domination continued. They opened with a 13-3 win over Southwest Lexington (Ky.), blanked host Mt. Vernon 10-0, then beat West Covina (Calif.) 19-13 before turnining back Murphysboro (Ill.) 13-3. A rematch with Southwest Lexington followed, which Garner won 11-0.
The championship game brought a 10-2 win over Washington.
In total, the squad won all four tournaments — the three PONY events and a Top Gun event — it entered this summer.
Members of the team were Karter Bossman, Hayden Buffaloe, Austin Clark, Jennings Dunlap, Ethan Gilchrist, Hunter Graham, David Johnson, Bryan McDaniel, Jett Parsley, Seth Pennica, Joseph Speelman and Brady Suber.
The squad was led by manager Ray Dunlap, coaches Jason Dunlap and Darrell Gilchrist and business manager Justin Clark.
In other area All-Star tournament action, the Garner All-Stars finished tied for sixth in the Tar Heel Leagues State 11-12-year-old championships in Watauga County recently. And in the Coach-Pitch division (ages 7-8), The Garner Yancey team and a Cleveland All-Star team both finished tied for sixth in the state as well.