MONROE—The Farm Bureau Lifers came out of the loser's bracket of the double elimination Monroe Little League tournament to claim the 2012 title by handing Monroe Grain a pair of losses Thursday night.
Had Monroe Grain, who beat the Lifers earlier in the week, won the opening contest Thursday, the tournament would have been over, but Farm Bureau pounded out a 14-2 win to force a second game. In the nightcap, the Lifers jumped out to a 8-2 lead and then held on for a final 14-10 triumph.
In the first game, the Lifers had a slim 3-2 edge going into the fifth and then broke it open with four runs before adding seven more in the sixth. Kyle Arnold tripled twice and had two RBIs, Evan Brown had three doubles in a four-hit game, Kyler Green doubled twice and delivered two RBIs, and Drew Schultz doubled. Jake McCullough also had two RBIs. For the Grain, Adam Busse doubled and had two RBIs while Conner Schwartz and Skyler Lehrman each had two hits.
Dylan Miller started and was the winning pitcher. He struck out four batters in four innings and Arnold whiffed four in the last two frames for the save. Kevin Brown had 10 Ks for the Grain in five innings while Busse had one in the sixth.
Farm Bureau clubbed five doubles in the final game with Arnold, Miller, Brown, McCullough and Schultz all getting two-baggers. Brown, Miller, and McCullough all delivered two RBIs while Brown, Schultz, and McCullough had multi-hit nights. Arnold was the starter and went four innings for the win with five Ks. Miller finished the final two innings for the save.
Monroe Grain's Jordan Biberstine slugged a three-run homer in the fourth and finished with two hits while Kevin Brown and Jaxson Rinkenberger both had two hits as well. Biberstine and Brown both fired three innings on the mound and struck out five and six respectively.
In post-game ceremonies, league officials announced that Hunter Lotter was the recipient of the league's Most Valuable Player award for the season and the Don Ray Mental Attitude Award. Jordan Biberstein was the named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.