Youth sports: Bases Loaded BoSox on a streak
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS ó Twenty-eight wins in a row is an eye-catching streak at any level, and the Bases Loaded BoSox may just be getting started.
The BoSox, a 14-under baseball squad that competes mostly in USSSA events, have won seven straight tournament championships. They’ve come a long way since they were formed as an 11-under team.
Eleven of the 12 BoSox will be high school freshmen this fall. They’ll impact programs at South Rowan, Carson, Hickory Ridge, Kings Mountain and especially, Northwest Cabarrus, where coach Joe Hubbard will hit the jackpot with five BoSox.
BoSox coach Keith Goodman says it could be a windfall for Northwest that will compare to the arrival of Kyle Seager, Jerod Faggart and Jake Faggart and the rest of the talented Class of 2006, but only time will tell.
“We put these kids in a new system when they were 11-year-olds,” explained Goodman, who coaches the BoSox along with Lance Noyes and pitching specialist Reggie Connor. “It took a little while. That first year they only played .500 ball.”
When the players were 12, the BoSox picked it up and won 80 percent of their games.
They won 11 in a row as 12-year-olds in Cooperstown and reached the semifinals of a 98-team national tournament. Goodman says many considered the BoSox the team to beat in that event, but they lost by a run in a semifinal.
One of the BoSox, Tanner Bigham, an infielder headed to Northwest, won the Golden Arm competition at Cooperstown that featured one representative from each of the 98 teams.
As 13-year-olds, the BoSox won five of the eight tournaments they entered, and their worst finish was third. As wins piled up, they were able to branch out geographically and attract additional talent.
When Coach Connor came on board, his son, Dallas, a hard-throwing pitcher who will be a standout at Kings Mountain, was welcomed onto the roster. Dallas can also catch, play third base and the outfield. His versatility is critical on a 12-player team.
“When we added Dallas it made us a true Majors-level team,” Goodman said. “He put us over the hump.”
The Majors are the elite level for this age group, and as 14-year-olds the BoSox won the Majors state championship last month.
The BoSox are 62-9 over the last 11 months and 30-2 this summer. They finished second in their first tournament this season before they began their current winning streak.
Jordan Goodman, Keith’s son, is a big first baseman headed to Northwest. He’s batting .639 with a half-dozen homers. Jarrin Hogue is another power hitter bound for Northwest. He and Goodman cleared 365-foot markers for homers in a recent tournament.
Also headed to Northwest is Tyler Noyes, Lance’s son, who may have made the most improvement of all the BoSox since last season. He plays second and outfield and throws a knuckleball.
Clutch-hitting catcher Grayson Miller and Bigham, a line-drive machine, also are future Trojans.
Fireballing closer J.T. Ford will play at Hickory Ridge in Harrisburg.
Joining Connor at Kings Mountain will be ace hurler Will Sellers and right fielder Logan McGill.
Carson’s addition will be Connor Bridges, the leadoff man and shortstop for the BoSox. Connor’s brother, Kyle, started for Carson at first base as a sophomore.
BoSox headed to South Rowan are center fielder Dillon Parker and catcher Eric Tyler.
‘I haven’t seen anyone better than Dillon in the outfield in his age group,” Goodman said. “Eric knows the game ó he’s like a coach on the field ó and he’s a great baserunner.”
The next challenge for the BoSox is the Global Sports World Series on July 22-26 in Charleston, S.C. Twenty-four elite teams from Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and the Carolinas qualified for the event.
“We got our way paid to this one by winning tournaments,” Goodman said.
Goodman says it’s been fun watching the BoSox take flight. There are horror stories daily about youth sports and over-zealous parents, but he says he hasn’t had to deal with any negatives.
“Our parents are an asset,” he said. “They know where we’re coming from, and we know where they’re coming from. There’s no drama with the BoSox.”
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