Salt Lake Little League underdogs win tournament

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Salt Lake City - Nothing like summer baseball, especially for an amazing team of 9 year-olds from Utah.

The Salt Lake Sidewinders just went to Steamboat Springs, Colo., and showed the rest of the country how to play ball. They rallied to win the U-9 Division II Triple Crown World Series, one of the top Little League tournaments in the country.

"It was awesome," said outfielder Baylor Jeppsen. "everything about it."

The Sidewinders were big underdogs at the tournament. They weren't supposed to compete with teams from Texas, California, and Colorado.

"No one expected much from a team from Utah," said coach LaVon Edwards, a former Ute defensive back. "We weren't ranked nationally like these other teams were."

But the team battled through the tournament and shocked everyone with their performance.

"We just kept rockin' and got our bats going and all that" said catcher and outfielder Preston Michaelson.

"We went in there, and we were overlooked" said coach Rob Jeppsen. "A lot of teams that say Utah isn't gonna beat us, those teams got to watch us in the championship.

Working their way out of the losers bracket, the Sidewinders had to win four games in one day to win the Tournament. They started playing at 8 a.m. and didn't take any breaks. They had to come from behind to win in almost every game. But one by one, these 9-year-olds never gave up and upset the best teams to claim the title.

"He finally gets the ball and steps on third, and it was over," Edwards said. "I think we stormed out of the dugout and it was like, wow, can you believe we just did this. How sweet is this?"

"It was an amazing thing they did," said Jeppsen. "I'll never forget it. As long as I live I won't forget what those guys did."


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Jeremiah Jensen


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