The Clark County 12U Major/60 All-Star team put together a string of four straight wins last week to win the Cal Ripken Major/60 Southwest Regional Championship in Springdale, Arkansas.

The Clark County 12U Major/60 All-Star team put together a string of four straight wins last week to win the Cal Ripken Major/60 Southwest Regional Championship in Springdale, Arkansas.
The win qualified the team for the Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series which will be held August 3-11 in Clemmons, North Carolina. Clark County will represent the Southwest Region in the tournament.
After opening with a 4-3 walk-off win over Seminole, Texas, in round one, Clark County avenged a 7-6 state tournament semifinal loss to Stuttgart with a 13-8 win over the Ricebirds in the Regional winners’ bracket semifinals. Clark County followed that win by avenging another state tournament loss in the winners’ bracket finals by defeating McCrory 12-2.
The win put Clark County in the championship game awaiting either Andrews, Texas, Stuttgart or McCrory from the losers’ bracket. McCrory would outlast Stuttgart to force a rematch with Clark County needing to defeat Clark County twice. Clark County, using the benefit of staying in the winners’ bracket and saving pitching, used a break-through third inning that saw CC plate eight runs en route to an 11-1 win in four innings to earn the Regional Title.
Clark County got solid efforts in all three phases of the game in the final three games of the tournament. CC got production from each of the 10 players on the roster throughout the tournament. In the final three games of the tournament, each player on the roster reached base at least once each game.
Defensively, Clark County only had three fielding errors in the final three games of the tournament including an error-free Championship game. On the mound, Clark County got solid efforts from Josh Taylor, Tripp Campbell, Donovan Whitten and River Stewart.
After a shaky game one that saw Clark County eek out a 4-3 win in the bottom of the sixth, manager Kirk Goodrum was pleased with the way the team responded in the final three games.
“We knew as a coaching staff – and the boys knew as well – that we were fortunate to escape the first round with a win,” said Goodrum. “We challenged them after that game and they responded the next day against a really good Stuttgart team.
“Everything clicked for us and momentum kept building over the next two games. We were really proud of the boys and couldn’t be more excited for them to earn this trip to the World Series.”
The team is the first team from Clark County to advance to a World Series in the league’s affiliation with Little League or Cal Ripken. The 1982 Arkadelphia Little League team won the State Championship and advanced to the Regional Semifinals in St. Petersburg, Florida, before being defeated by Kentucky in heart-breaking walk-off fashion. In 2010, the league provided another State Champion which played on ESPN in the Little League Southwest Regional Tournament in Waco, Texas.
“We’ve talked about the fact that we’re not sure if these boys really understand what they’ve done yet,” added Goodrum. “As parents and coaches, we understand but it hasn’t really sunk in yet and it may not until we actually get to North Carolina. We’re happy that this group has done something right up there with those 1982 and 2010 teams and we hope to represent Arkadelphia, Gurdon and Clark County well just as those teams did.”
The team is required to be in Clemmons, NC, by August 1 and will participate in Opening Ceremonies and a banquet on 2nd before pool play begins on August 3. After four pool play games, the bracket will be set with the top 3 seeds from each pool advancing to the Championship bracket.
The Cal Ripken organization provides transportation costs for the players and coaches, but families and other fans are on their own for travel. Cal Ripken arranges for a team hotel, but does not cover lodging or food costs for the trip. The teams are required to stay through the entire tournament which ends August 11.
“The trip to the World Series is a huge reward for these boys, but it will also be a sacrifice for the families to make both with time and with finances,” said Goodrum. “The boys will be participating in some fundraisers in the two weeks we have before we leave and we would welcome any support from individuals and businesses in Clark County.”
All money raised will go toward costs incurred by families during the tournament, including lodging, food and some travel. So any donations can be tax deductible, all of the fundraisers will go through the Arkadelphia Baseball Commission which has 501(c)3 status. Any businesses or individuals interested can email the ABC at arkadelphiabaseballcommission@gmail.com.
Team members and coaches include: Carter Babb, Bryce Bratton, Tripp Campbell, Judsen Coon, Tate Goodrum, Kyle Matocha, Kadin Rhodes, River Stewart, Josh Taylor, Donovan Whitten, Manger Kirk Goodrum, Coach Chris Babb and Coach Jenny Coon.