It’s been a long end to the first half of the season for the U15s with games every Wednesday and Sunday for the past two weeks in addition to their trainings. But the kids have persisted, and everyone should be proud of the way they have handled the workload.
Following our hard-fought win on the weekend against the Cardinals, we faced two top 4 sides this week.
On Wednesday we battled against Sturt, going down 20-5. Despite the resulting loss, we experienced a lot of growth and resilience within the playing group. There is promise in their blending as a team and our ‘team mentality’ is really starting to shine through.
I only want to focus on the positives of these losses – we often learn more from a loss than a win.
What we can take away from it is the fact that we scored 5 runs, had 4 hits (Charlie, Cyrus, Sam (1RBI) and a double from Henry), 3RBIs (Sam and Wren), got on base 10 times and left three runners on.
Our pitchers are showing their strengths and throwing strikes – between Kai, Cyrus and Wren they saw a combined 38 batters in 5 innings and only gave up 8 hits. Wren put on a performance and struck out 3 batters in her 2 innings as our closing pitcher.
We aren’t letting the competition defeat us, and to put pressure on as we did to a side like Sturt, this is a fantastic result.
It was “The Show” on Sunday against another top 4 side, Southern Districts – and the Tigers certainly put on a show!
It was a rocky start for us, with Souths getting 7 runs in the first innings. Starting pitcher Ollie did a great job, striking out the first batter of the game and continuing to throw strikes.
We answered back quickly and scored three runs of our own from hour hits.
Charlie came in to relieve Ollie in the second, only allowing in three runs. We witnessed a fluid double play from Kai in right field – taking a catch and throwing out a runner who left early at second. We finished the inning on a high note, with Charlie striking out their lead-off hitter.
The Tigers were amped up and filled our offensive innings with seven green circles for seven hits to tie the game at 10-10 – including two huge doubles from Henry and Ollie.
Charlie limited the Hawks to one additional run to take their lead back 10-11 in the third, but worked hard with a K and some soft contact to the infield.
We gained the lead for the first time in the bottom of the third, 12-11, with a pair of hits, before getting back out on the diamond to defend our work.
The Hawks came back out aggressively with four hits (including a home run) to fill their innings quota and again lead - 12-18.
It came down to the last innings and the kids were relentless – aggressive baserunning, swinging hard and determined to get the win. What was most impressive was that they were composed enough to be smart batters, going deep into counts and rewarded with 6BB. With stolen bases and two awesome safe hits, we almost took the win – but six runs got us the draw!
This is by far our best offensive performance of the season. We dispensed of three of their pitchers and racked up 15 hits! Every kid in the team contributed to this assault, getting on base 25 times in our 33 plate appearances.
Notably, Charlie went 4/4, Henry went 3/4 with a double and Ollie with a double, also.
It is truly amazing the changes we have seen in the group from where we started at the beginning of the season. Starting at the bottom of the ladder, we have grown to take on the fourth ranked team and give them a serious run for their money. We now have a very exciting second half of the season ahead.
It has been an honour and a privilege for Kristian, Thommo and myself to be a part of it and help them find their way. But the applause should go directly to the kids – while we work hard to deliver a message of teamwork, resilience and heart, the kids are the ones who physically have to step up to the plate and get it done.
I take pride that we have finished 8th on the ladder thus far. And accounting for their progress to date, we have much further to climb. Heading into the new year, we will place second on the ladder in division two.
Let’s get that flag, Tigers.
What a day for Baseball and what a game it was!
A game full of excitement, anticipation and close competition.....
And it didn't matter that the game was lost, the kids played as a team, showed their spirit, their fight and their love of the game!
Beau had a huge hit that went all the way to the back fence and managed to make it home twice, Austin struggled a bit at the plate but I'm putting that down to nerves as he put the catcher's kit on for the first time EVER this game!!! Noah, with a miss field managed to get himself an in field home run that unfortunately didn't count to the score for the day as he was the eighth home in the innings (doh!).
Kai, with 2 strong hits got himself 2 strong runs, with Flynn following closely behind him making it home twice also! Owen, also with 2 great hits (a common number in this game today), but unfortunately only got over the plate once. Ollie was too hard on himself after hitting a double play out, but made up for it by getting himself home the following innings sporting the biggest smile seen all day. Lucas...... what a run home, a bit of a yoyo run with some awesome dodgeball skills saw him slide into the plate for our 10th run - some edge of your seat excitement right there!!! And our last batter of the day Ben, ran hard, played hard and got himself over that plate!!!! Awesome efforts there I must say. As I mentioned, Austin put on the catcher's kit for the first time and caught his very first ball as a catcher this game.... knees were shaking big time..... But he found his balance and his voice and between Noah and Austin, the voices were loud and strong from behind the plate all game! Kai and Beau - the pitching pair - in total 155 pitches, 65 strikes,
80 balls, 7 hits and partridge in a pear tree! Consistency and confidence shown by both the boys this week - they are improving each and every week!
The kids made me proud on Sunday, heads never dropped, they enjoyed the game and used their voices with encouragement and cheer! Best game of the season so far..... now that the confidence is up....
Bring on 2021!! And as per every week, a BIG thank you again to the 13's who help make this game possible for us by coming up and playing with us!!
With a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all, can't wait till the next game!!
The 3 past 3 weeks the little league Div 1 team have played some amazing baseball.
We had a walk off win against the Hawks. We pushed an undefeated Goodwood team to a heartbreaking defeat after leading 2-1 after 5 digs. And then on the weekend against Southern Districts had another walk off win.
Last week's game at "The Show" was amazing. Hats off to Wilbur and everybody involved for the day. The kids were pumped to be on the big diamond with music and commentators.
The boys have really come together this season and there has been some big improvements across the board. We sit at 5 wins and 3 losses at the break and are right in the mix for a possible finals run.
Thanks to all the parents in the group for getting kids to the 2s when required and also to help out the 14s. Have a great Xmas and can't wait to see you all in the new year.
After last week’s loss we asked the U11’s to put everything they had into this week’s game. As a coaching staff we couldn’t be more pleased, they certainly did as they were asked.
With all the lights, camera and action of “The Show” the kids were pumped to get out on to the field. Beau Martinella took to the mound after a few weeks off… not that you could tell. He was firing in strikes, with the Redsox collecting 4 hits and only scoring 3 runs. Beau managed to pick up 3 strikeouts to close out the first inning.
We fired back and scored 3 of our own with Opal Crabb leading off with a walk, Beau hitting a double to right field and some patient batting.
Beau continued to impress with back to back strikeouts on 6 pitches. A line drive was smashed at Lincoln Harris at first base, everyone else realised the ball was in his glove before he did!
Redsox then came back with 3 strikeouts of their own, keeping the score tied at 3 apiece. Lincoln came on to pitch and did well to throw plenty of strikes. Redsox took advantage of the ball in the zone and scored 4 runs.
Bottom of the 3rd we were able to string together some disciplined at bats, resulting in a couple of walks. Jimmy Newbold had a key hit which allowed us to narrow the score to 7-6.
Redsox were ready to fight back with their bats swinging. They managed 4 hits in a row and with a couple of walks added in the mix, they scored 4 runs.
With time running out, we wanted to continue our offensive momentum. The team did well to get a few more walks and with Beau and Jimmy both collecting their second hits of the day, we managed another 4 runs. We went down 11-10 on the day.
It was a fantastic game full of cheering, great fielding and batting. It’s really rewarding to see the players confidence grow each week and we are excited to get back out on the field in 2021.
A big thank you to Grant for putting on “The Show” – it was a great day for everyone.