The Prince William Bombers baseball team took fourth place in the 41-team AAU 13-and-under national championship in Kingsport, Tenn., last week.
The Bombers went 5-1 to reach the championship round, where they met another Virginia team, the Richmond Cobras, in a quarterfinal game. Behind the pitching of Woody Dent and a rally-killing triple play pulled off by John Malene, Jack Ferrick and Ryan McCauley, the Bombers defeated the Cobras, 11-5.
Prince William then fell to the Florida Yard Dogs, 9-2, in the semifinals and 8-3 to the Tampa Bay Breakers in the third-place game to finish the tournament with a 6-3 record. The Yard Dogs defeated the defending champion San Diego Stars, 7-6, in the championship game.
Despite a loss to the New Hampshire Seawolves, Prince William advanced through first-round pool play with wins over Eden Prairie (Minn.) Black and the Phillips 66 Diamonds of Tennessee. In the second round, the Bombers defeated the Forest City (N.C.) Thunder, the Gambrills (Md.) A's and the Sarasota Snappers.
The Bombers received outstanding pitching from Dent, Will Nance and Jorge Laboy. Laboy, who hit .333 in addition to his pitching duties, was named to the all-tournament team along with Joe Bauserman, who led the Bombers in extra-base hits and batted .343.
The team also got a boost when Brett Meyer and Mike Bushnell combined to beat the Snappers, ensuring the team's advancement to the quarterfinal round. Other standouts were Conor McFadden, who hit .409 while catching all nine games; Malene, who batted .387 from the leadoff spot; and Travis Van Hook and Jason Beck, who came through with timely hits and played well defensively.
The Bombers had qualified for the national tournament by finishing second in the Virginia State Association Championship in Richmond in June.