EMERSON, Ga. – Dulin’s Dodgers 15u Prime took home the 15u PG World Series championship on Wednesday with a 9-3 extra-innings win over the CBA Bulldogs 15u. The championship is the organization’s second in the last two days with their 14u club winning the 14u PG World Series on Tuesday.
The 15u Dulin’s Dodgers were able to get it done in what was a total team effort on Wednesday. Two pitchers combined to allow three runs on just five hits, and six different players recorded a hit at the plate.
After having to scratch and claw their way into bracket play at this year’s event, the Dodgers battled from behind in nearly every playoff game they played. Head coach Tim Dulin believes his team’s resiliency was a key to their ability to overcome the adversity that came their way.
“We had to grind just to get into bracket play, and all week we have been telling them just to continue to play the game,” said Dulin, who is the founder of the Dodgers organization. “At the end of the day, this is a really resilient bunch and I just couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning, the Dodgers were able to grab three runs on two singles and an error, with the biggest hit coming off the bat of Braden Montgomery. Montgomery, who finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair run scoring singles, knew he needed to come through for his team when the big moment came.
“I hadn’t been very good coming into the day, but today I had to myself to stay out of the air and hit hard line drives and ground balls,” said Montgomery, who is a native of Madison, Mississippi. “I was able to stay through it and stay down, and as a result I was able to string a couple hits together today.”
Montgomery also had great things to say about his pitching today, particularly in Blaze Jordan. Jordan, who is ranked as the top player in the 2021 class by Perfect Game, was able to get past a tough seventh inning to fire back-to-back zeros in both extra frames.
“We know he is always going to come up big for us. It was great that we were able to come out and put up six runs in the ninth because it gave us a lot of insurance. He had a tough seventh inning, but we knew he was going to do it for us the rest of the way.”
Before Jordan tossed the final nine outs for the Dodgers, starter Trent Hodgdon tossed six strong innings to keep them in the game. Hodgdon struck out three and didn’t allow an earned run in the championship game, and rising sophomore from Alabama made big pitches whenever he needed to.
After winning the 14u Perfect Game World Series last summer, this same group came in as one of the favorites to repeat in the 15u division this summer. Coach Dulin was in attendance as the 14u Dodgers team won their championship game yesterday, and he believes that the string of victories says a lot about the players he has in the program.
“Our whole objective from day one when I started this organization was to make it about the player,” said Dulin. “If we get the right players and the right families involved, winning is a byproduct of that. We’ve won lots of championships, but we don’t put the teams together to win at all costs. We try to collectively put together teams that understand how to win and play together.”
One of those players that make this Dulin’s Dodgers organization so good is tournament MVP David Jeon. Jeon, who is from Coppell, Texas, was focused on just doing what he could to help the team all week.
“I was just trying to keep it simple and see the ball deep all week, and just hit it wherever the ball was pitched,” said Jeon. “After a good game, I was just trying to erase it and go into every game with a fresh mindset.”
While Jeon struggled during Wednesday’s championship game, he was able to battle at the plate and draw what turned out to the game-winning walk. This type of team-first attitude is exactly what coach Dulin preached to his team all week.
“I was just trying to battle in that last at-bat. I knew I couldn’t just be an automatic out; I needed to fight and get on base any way I could, and it worked out in the end.”
2018 15u PG World Series MVP: David Jeon