If this summer is any indication, the future of Granbury baseball is in pretty good shape.
The 6-Under Purple Pirates, playing in the PONY (Protect Our Nation’s Youth) Shetland division, came within one victory of reaching the state tournament, falling 17-6 to Richland Youth Association in their final playoff game.
“We are so very proud of these boys for advancing in the Pony tournament series as far as we did and accomplishing something here in Granbury that hasn’t been done in a very long time,” said head coach Jared Stone.
“This is a special group of ballplayers that do anything asked of them, and I will always hold a special place in my heart for these boys.”
Granbury Purple reached the regional runner-up state play-in game by finishing second to Aledo Orange in Region 2. After defeating Keller Blue 27-16, Aledo Orange 26-22, and Keller Gold 22-18, they dropped consecutive games to Aledo Orange by 22-21 and 22-20 scores.
Granbury Purple and Aledo Orange each advanced from Section 4 as Orange topped them in the final 26-25. Purple had defeated the Burleson Bombers 25-15 and Aledo Orange 24-23 to reach the Section 4 title round.
Granbury earned the sectional berth by sweeping through district.
In making their postseason run, Granbury and Aledo developed quite a friendly rivalry, said Stone. Aledo won the series 3-2, but Granbury outscored them 96-95.
In the final Aledo victory, Granbury appeared to be on the verge of a rally. However, Aledo made three big defensive plays to hold on for the win.
“You’ve got to give Aledo props, they did what they had to do at the right time,” said Stone.
“They came to watch us against RYA. They wanted us to win and move on to state with them. That was pretty classy.”
In all, Granbury 6U Purple was 19-7 in all-star competition, which features the best players from each league.
“Not only can they all play every position on the field, they can play them at an elite level,” said Stone of his team. “We are a scrappy team that never gives up and plays baseball the way it was meant to be played.
“We have a great group of parents, assistant coaches, and most of all, a great group of kids who love playing baseball. These kids made coaching them easy.
“I can’t wait to see how well they do throughout their baseball careers.”
Members of the 6U Purple Pirates are Caden Pate, Cutter Cain, Drake Owens, Blake Bramlett, Hunter Michels, Brooks Stone, Tyce Edwards, Kyler Crites, Tyler St. Don, Caden Davis, Cayson Applequist, Talan Culberson and Cole Bradley. Coaches, along with Stone, are John Owens, Kelly Bramlett and Ryan St. Don.
ROLLING THROUGH OWN TOURNEY
While rain forced cancellation of most of the tournament, including almost every championship bracket, the 6U bracket managed to finish.
The 6U Purple Pirates won with little trouble, breezing through four games and outscoring their opponents 74-30.
In pool play, Granbury rolled over Glen Rose 19-6 and Benbrook 18-8 to enter bracket play as the top seed. They then disposed of fourth-seeded Glen Rose again 17-6, and topped third-seeded Aledo White 20-10 in the championship game.
Aledo White had upset No. 2 Benbrook 26-15 in the semifinals.
“The kids played really great in this tournament,” said Stone. “It’s always good to play well at home.”
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