The Boyertown 11U Advanced Play Team reached the Cal Ripken Southeast PA State Championship game for the third straight year (2021 9U Champion, 2022 10U Runner-Up), this year coming up short and earning State Runner Up.
The Bears went 3-0 in pool play, beating Hilltop, Langhorne, and Glenside to earn the top spot in their pool entering bracket play. Pool play game 1 against Hilltop was a tight 1-1 contest until the top of the third when the Bears scored two to take a 3-1 lead. They would hold on to win the game 3-2. The Bears found ways to score despite being held to four hits, with Garrett G leading the team at the plate, going 2-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Collin P and Carson N teamed up to scatter five hits over six innings. Pool play game 2 against Langhorne was all Bears from the beginning, where they jumped out to a 5-0 early lead and held on to win 7-3. Brendan S and Declan K each recorded two knocks for the Bears and combined for four RBI in the win. The pitching trio of Hudson C, Sam N, and Logan S scattered five hits over six innings. Pool play game 3 against Glenside was close until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Bears blew it open with a crooked number. Entering the bottom of the fifth, the Bears led 3-2. Their offense came alive for six runs in the frame to put the game out of reach and lead them to the 9-2 victory. Sam N led all Boyertown batters going 2-3 with two RBI The Bears continued their solid pitching with pitchers Brendan S, Declan K, and Logan S scattering 7 hits over six Innings while striking out seven.
The Bears earned a first round bye in bracket play, thanks to their undefeated pool play record. They faced the Nor-gwyn Hawks In the second round game, which was also the state quarter-finals. The Bears got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning when Brendan S drove a line drive knock to left and scored on a Garrett G bunt single. They held the Hawks scoreless in the top of the second and scored another two runs in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 3-0. This time, Carson N drew the lead off walk and was followed by a Liam M double, setting the stage for an Isaac S two-RBI single. Nor-Gwyn fought back, scoring two runs in the top of the third to narrow the lead to 3-2. The Bears answered in the bottom of the third by putting pressure on the Nor-Gwyn pitchers - to great success. First, Garrett G recorded a two-out hit. After a Hudson C walk and double steal put both runners in scoring position, Garrett G scored on a wild pitch and Hudson advanced to third. Hudson advancing turned out to be crucial, as he scored later on a balk to put the Bears ahead 5-2. They needed every bit of that cushion because the Hawks would go on to score two runs in the top of the fourth and another two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 6-5 temporary lead. The Bears tied things up in the bottom of the fifth when Stephen B earned a leadoff walk and came around to score on an RBI groundout by Hudson C. The game stayed knotted at six until the bottom of the 7th inning, when Stephen B once again drew a walk, this time with two outs. The Nor-Gwyn pitcher had a rough inning, going on to hit the next batter and then walk the next two to walk in Stephen for the winning run. Garrett G led Bears hitters in the game, going 2-2 with an RBI and a run scored.
The state semifinals pitted the Bears against the Unionville Lightning, a team they had seen and beaten already three times this year. The Bears went on to make it four times, grounding the Lightning 7-4. This game was never really close, as the Bears scored three in the bottom of the first inning on a Garrett G RBI fielder's choice, a Hudson C RBI double, and a Carson N RBI fielder’s choice. Unionville would narrow the lead to 3-1 in the top of the third, but the Bears would add two in the bottom of the inning to push the advantage to 5-1. The Lightning tried to make the game interesting in the top of the fifth, scoring three to narrow the lead to 5-4, but the Bears simply added two more runs in the bottom of the inning to achieve the final advantage of 7-4 and earn themselves a spot in the state championship game. Brendan S and Hudson C led Bears hitters, going a combined 4-4 with three RBI and five runs scored. The pitching trio of Sam N, Logan S, and Brendan S held the Lightning offense to six hits and no earned runs.
The state championship game pitted the Bears against their nemesis the Pennsbury Falcons, the team who defeated them in the 10U state championship game in 2022. Unfortunately for the Bears, history repeated itself in 2023 and Pennsbury went on to win 13-2 to win the state championship and drop the Bears to runners up. In the championship game, Brendan S and Hudson C both went 2-2 for the Bears, but the team’s offense otherwise struggled to get anything going, with all other Bears batters going hitless.
Despite their setback in the State Championship game, the Bears have earned an at-large bid to the Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament, held in Mount Laurel, NJ July 12-16.