Big Rapids Lightning Bombers travel baseball continues to succeed

BASEBALL: Big Rapids Lightning Bombers baseball players get ready to receive trophies last week at Hemlock Park. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BASEBALL: Big Rapids Lightning Bombers baseball players get ready to receive trophies last week at Hemlock Park. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — It was another fun season for the Big Rapids Lightning Bombers baseball teams.

The Lightning Bombers were established four years ago, organization president John Meeuwes said.

“We basically take all the Little Leaguers out of the area and put together some tournament teams,” Meeuwes said. “We take the best from the Big Rapids Little League and create travel teams. This allows advanced kids in the community to get some exposure and some experience, see what else is out there and go to different ballparks.”

There were five teams this summer. The organization had a season-ending event on June 30 at Hemlock Park. All the teams were presented with trophies they earned over the season.

“Most of the teams were successful in their seasons,” Meeuwes said. “We’re proud of the boys and their families that were involved.”

Teams formed were 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U and 12U.

“Next year, that will expand to include 13U and 14U teams,” Meeuwes said.

The 12U team was 36-5 overall.

“That ranges from tournaments in the west side of the state in Muskegon to the east side to Midland,” Meeuwes said. “Our 12-year-old boys won the largest tournament on the east side of the state with 14 teams. It was a popular tournament. They took first place in a home run derby championship. There’s like 144 available contestants at the tournament who could enter into that. The Big Rapids boys teamed up and took first place.”

The Lightning Bombers teams wrapped up with tournaments in late June and will move into the Little League tournament All-Stars starting this week.

“We stopped doing the (Bombers) tournament team so the Little Leagues can focus on an All-Stars team,” Meeuwes said.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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