Generals Blue was one of the last four teams standing following pool play and the bracket tournament championship and placed fourth overall for their efforts. The team also came up short in the state tournament, finishing as the runners-up.
Winning the Dizzy Dean World Series was the goal when the squad got back together as an 8-year-old team for the 2014 season and last Tuesday, the Generals Blue accomplished what it set out to do.
Behind a strong offensive performance, clutch pitching and defense, Kennesaw Generals Blue posted a 9-0 record through pool play and the bracket tournament championship en route to capturing the Dizzy Dean 8-year-old Baseball World Series Championship in Southhaven, Miss.
Based out of Adams Park in Kennesaw, Generals Blue beat the AYBA Eagles 12-4 in the championship game to earn the title.
Generals Blue scored 145 runs overall throughout the week-long tournament, which started July 23, and allowed only 25 runs for a plus-120 run differential. The AYBA Eagles were the third best team, totaling a plus-82 run differential.
“We never had a game go into the sixth inning,” Generals Blue coach Phillip Galbreath said. “We run-ruled everybody in the fifth. Every time the tournament organizers had to reseed, we were seeded No. 1.
“Our motto for the tournament was to leave no doubt who the best team is and the kids ate that up. It clicked in their mind and they went out and got it done.”
Generals Blue went 36-2 on the season and won three other summer tournaments. The core of the team remained together for this year’s Dizzy Dean run and a few more players were added to help.
“We always had high hopes that we could win, but we tried not to let the expectations get ahead of us,” Galbreath said. “We felt like we had a chance to be competitive again, and to see them accomplish this is just incredible.”
According to Galbreath, the key to this year’s season was everybody “buying in” to what the coaches were saying and the team chemistry among the players.
“Even the parents bought in and trusted the coaches,” he said. “Everybody was involved. This group of families and kids really got along. There was great chemistry amongst the kids and the families. They trusted each other.”
The Kennesaw Generals Blue also won their age groups sportsmanship award at the Dizzy Dean tournament as well as the state event. T.J. Smith was named most valuable player at the Dizzy Dean tournament.
According to Galbreath, the last team out of Adams Park to win a Dizzy Dean Baseball World Series was probably in 2002.
“We’re extremely excited to win this,” he said. “They’re only 8-years-old. You try to relay to kids that these things don’t happen too often so you have to appreciate it. It’s an incredible experience, and one I hope they’ll remember the rest of the lives.”