Traveling Rattlers shine in Series
It’s billed as the “Greatest Show On Dirt,” and is an invitation only tournament.
The Janesville Rattlers were the only representative from Wisconsin and more than held their own in the five-day tournament at McHenry, Ill.
Thanks to a stunning come-from-behind quarterfinal victory over the Puerto Rico Knights, the Rattlers advanced to the championship round of the eight-team Gold Bracket tournament and finished fourth overall.
“The Janesville Rattlers represented the state of Wisconsin well by defeating Puerto Rico and Naperville (Ill.),” said Enrico Heirman, the National Director of CABA.
“We pride ourselves on creating an Olympic-type, international cultural experience that will generate Hallmark moments and memories that will last a lifetime, all through the vehicle of youth baseball.
“The Rattlers were exactly the type of team that makes this the gold standard for World Series events.”
The Rattlers, who played a 35-game schedule this summer, qualified for CABA through district tournament at Watertown.
At the CABA World Series, Janesville defeated St. Charles (Ill.), Naperville (Ill.) and the Puerto Rico Knights, and lost to the Puerto Rico Braves and St. Charles. The Puerto Rico Braves won the Gold Bracket.
Hunter Yerke, Zach Bailey and Ryan Miller were the hitting stars for the Rattlers at CABA.
Yerke finished with eight hits and two home runs, Bailey had 10 hits and three doubles, while Miller finished with a team-high 12 hits.
The top pitchers for the Rattlers were Connor Perkins, Chase Nyborg and Connor Osmond.
Members of the Rattlers are Yerke, Bailey, Miller, Perkins, Nyborg, Osmond, Hunter Van Zandt, Sam Carlson, Adam Carlson, Bryce Pass, Brett Pass, Ryan Dodson and Alex Rodriquez.
The team is coached by Brian Bailey, Bob Dodson, Wayne Van Zandt, Brian Pass and Kevin Miller. Jordan Bailey and Ty Randles are the bat boys.
“The kids came out of this whole thing with an incredible experience,” coach Miller said. “All the glitter and excitement of the opening ceremonies, where there was a parade and the San Diego Chicken (mascot) was there, had the kids in awe.
“And then to be a part of what was just an unbelievable level of baseball being played for kids that age made it really special.
“I think our kids realized very early that this was a whole lot different than getting in a car and heading to Eau Claire for a weekend tournament. This was the real deal.”