Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Atlantic Beach finishes as Cal Ripken World Series runner-ups

BRANSON, MISSOURI-It may have not been the outcome they wanted, but when Atlantic Beach comes back to Jacksonville, the Suns should be very proud of their accomplishments.

As one of 24 teams who qualified for the Cal Ripken 12-under World Series, the Suns managed by Larry Rollings finished second in the country falling 7-1 tonight to a Japan team, who has won 5 of the last 7 titles.

After winning the state title, the Suns won the Southeast Regional title to qualify for the World Series in Branson, Missouri August 3-10 at Ballparks of America.

Southeast Region Champs

Atlantic Beach was placed in the United States Group C to start the tournament and began pool play with Missouri, New England and Nebraska.

In the opener Aug. 3, the Suns held off New England 3-1 to start the tournament 1-0 in Group C. Offensively, the Suns were led by Colin Rust who went 1-3, Holden Bradshaw 2-3 with a RBI and double and Kyson Witherspoon 1-3 with a double.

William Rollings got the win striking out five, allowing two hits, walking one and allowing one earned run in five innings; while Witherspoon closed it out striking out three, allowing two hits and one run in one inning.

In game two on Aug. 4, the Suns had little trouble with Nebraska winning 15-2 to improve to 2-0 in pool play.  Atlantic Beach exploded with 14 hits and were led by Billings 1-3 with a RBI, Rust 1-5 with a RBI, Parker Sedgwick 2-4 with 2 RBI and a double, Malachi Witherspoon 1-3 with RBI, Kyson Witherspoon 3-4 with RBI, Jack Mcguinness 4-4 with 3 RBI and a double Dustin Petit 1-2 with 2 RBI and a triple.

On the mound, Rust threw two innings allowing two hits, striking out three while walking one; Bradshaw closed it out going 2 and 2/3 striking out one, walking one and allowing one run and no hits.

In the final game of pool play, the Suns routed host Missouri 7-0 Aug 5 to win Pool C to advance to the playoffs. Offensively, the Suns were led by Rust 1-4, Bradshaw 1-3, Rollings 3-4 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI, Sedgwick 1-4 with RBI and Kyson Witherspoon 1-3 with RBI.

Sedgwick got the win going five innings striking out five, allowing four walks and one hit; while Witherspoon got the save striking out two in the final inning.

The win gave the Suns a day off and a bye before facing Ohio Valley in the first round of the bracket. Atlantic Beach had little trouble with Ohio defeating them 8-3 to advance to the second round of the US bracket. No stats were available on this game.

In the US semi-finals, Atlantic Beach knocked off Colorado 8-2 to advance to the US finals against Hawaii. No stats were available on this game.

With a spot in the Cal Ripken World Series championship game on the line, Atlantic Beach and Hawaii both gave everything they had in a classic nail biting game with the Suns coming out on top 2-1 to advance to the title game. No stats were available on this game.

Both Japan and Atlantic Beach came into the final game undefeated in the tournament and looking to bring home the World Series trophy in a game televised live on

However in the end, the boys from Atlantic Beach were no match for the dynasty from Japan, who won their fifth title in 7 years.

Despite the loss, the Suns from Atlantic Beach Athletic Association have a lot to be proud of 2017 District Champs, 2017 Florida State champs, 2017 Southeast Region champs, 2017 Cal Ripken United States champs and 2017 Cal Ripken World Series runner-ups. Not a bad summer for a bunch of 10-12 year olds.

Atlantic Beach Suns 3






 1 Colin Rust OF, P  
5 Kyson Witherspoon SS, P  
10 Jesus Dejesus OF, P  
11 Jack Mcguinness OF, P  
12 Holden Bradshaw 2B, P  
13 Parker Sedgwick 1B, P  
14 Dustin Petit OF, P  
15 Brett Dennis 3B, P  
19 William Rollings C, 3B, P  
21 Malachi Witherspoon C, P  
00 Nash Beenen OF, P  
   Larry Rollings Manager  
  Chris Laufman Coach  
  Robbie Bradshaw Coach