Front row (left to right): Aidan May, Dane Godar, Kaden Ferguson, and Luke McCoy. Back row (left to right): Coach Dan Stephan, Joe Stephan, Payton Hemline, James McAdams, Jude Jones, Cohen Green, Carson Bauer, Zach Phillips, and Coach Mike Godar. Not pictured: Dagan Cordes.

ALTON - The Bluff City Sox 14U baseball team headed down to the Lake of the Ozarks last weekend with intentions of bringing home a AA World Series Championship. After winning all four of their pool-play games and rallying back in the semifinal and championship games, they won it all and finished the season off with a 24-14 record.

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Head coach Mike Godar took to Facebook to show his appreciation for his team.

"To say I’m proud of these guys would be a massive understatement," Godar said.

In the post, he mentioned that this was his final season coaching the Sox. This was his third year as head coach.

"These last three years have been phenomenal, thanks to the hard work of these kids and the dedication of these families. As a coach, I’ve loved every minute of working with these guys and watching them do their thing," Godar said.

The boys went 6-0 on the weekend. After winning their four pool-play games they were awarded the No. 1 seed in the semifinals. Despite being down four runs in the sixth inning, they pushed back to win 6-5 over the Mid MO Warhawks 14U.

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The Sox did so when Carson Bauer delivered a clutch two-RBI single with two outs in the sixth inning of the semifinal. Payten Henline closed the game out on the mound and "slammed the door shut," Coach Godar said.

That meant they were headed to the championship game which was played Sunday evening. They eventually defeated the Mid-MO Sliders 14U by a score of 11-8, but that game wasn't without some drama as well.

The Sox once again trailed by four runs but were only down by three in the sixth inning. That was when Joe Stephan hit a go-ahead grand slam to give his team the lead at 9-8. They scored a couple more insurance runs in the seventh and then Jude Jones finished the game pitching.

It's worth mentioning that coach Godar's son Dane hit his first career grand slam during the third pool-play game against the Callaway Crew 14U which they won 13-2. He led his team in batting average boosting a .692 AVG over the weekend.

"He had a really great year. He's our catalyst on offense, our leadoff hitter. Dane hit a lot of home runs but was batting well this weekend," coach Godar said about his son.

Godar finished off his Facebook post with some words of encouragement to his players and their families.

"For me, it’s not about the wins (though they are certainly a nice bonus because winning is a lot of fun), but it’s more about making lifelong friends and memories that will last forever. I hope when these guys are grown up, they look back on their Bluff City days and it makes them smile."

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