FORTVILLE — Team Lowder never says die.
Pushed to the brink at every step, coach Justin Lowder’s squad held its ground in the clutch and fended off the competition to clinch the Mt. Vernon Optimist Baseball Minors League title.
Winning each of its three tournament games by one run, Team Lowder hoisted the championship trophy with a 9-8 victory against Trattner.
In the semifinals, the 9- and 10-year-old champions again survived a hard-fought game, edging Payson 11-10.
Lowder and assistant coach Matt Hankley guided their club to 7-6 opening-round win against Lloyd, which set the tone the rest of the way.
The league champions finished third in the final standings with a 7-3 record behind Vahle (8-1) and Perkins (6-2).
Trattner was fourth in the standings at 6-3 and followed a path similar to Lowder’s to advance the title game.
Moving past Adamson 6-5 in the first round, Trattner prevailed 8-7 against Vahle, which opened the tournament with a 14-9 win against Ross.
Six of the tournament’s seven games were decided by two runs or fewer.