The 8u Lightning competed this past weekend in the Vegas Valley April Madness 9u tournament. Putting together a solid 3-1 weekend and grabbing their second ring as a team. The 8u LVBA won the silver bracket of the 9u division, making this their first championship at the 9u level. It was a full team effort all weekend, as top to bottom contributed in all four games. Each player stepped up and had a big moment for the team this past weekend, showing to everyone the hard work that they have been putting in on and off the field. I could not be prouder of the group and how far they have come with their personalities and as baseball players.
In game one the Lightning battled until the last out with the Sin City Thunder 9u, eventually coming inches short as the tying run was thrown out at home plate to end the game 10-9. The team battled through five innings of solid baseball, putting up 9 runs and only committing one error on defense. Notables at the plate in game one was JaBron J (2-3) with a triple, HR and RBI, Lucas O (2-2) with a double, walk and RBI and Giovanni G (1-2) with 2 RBI. Chase L also added three walks in three plate appearances to go along with 2 1/3rd innings and 3 strikeouts on the mound for LVBA. Rocco R also tossed 1 2/3rd innings on the mound, collecting 4 strikeouts in the process.
Game two was a tight back and forth matchup with the Lake Havasu Scorpions 9u, with the 8u Lightning coming out on top 12-9 in four innings. The LVBA offense stayed hot, scoring 12 runs on 8 hits. Leading the way at the plate in this one with two hits a piece was Rocco R (2-3) and Lucas O (2-2) who added a triple and 3 RBI. Derek K (1-1) also had a good day at the plate, adding two walks and an RBI to his 1-1 day. Enzo Z (0-0), Maverick C (0-0), and Dillin T (0-0) all had a walk and stolen base in their only plate appearance of the game. On the mound Dillin T was instrumental as he battled for 2 2/3rd innings, striking out 2 and only allowing 4 runs on 5 hits.
Going into Sunday, the 8u Lightning put themselves in a great position as the number seven seed overall and the number one seed in the silver bracket. The 8u Lightning would start the day off in the semifinals against the California Crushers, and even after a 15 minute delay to start the game due to dugouts, LVBA’s offense could not be stopped for long. Putting up 5 runs in the first inning and 11 runs in the game, LVBA would handle the Crushers and move on to their first 9u championship appearance. At the plate the 8u Lightning were led by Giovanni G (1-1), who added a base hit and RBI to his weekend. Also getting in on the action was Noah S (1-1) with a walk, Dillin T (1-2) with 2 RBI, and Maverick C (1-2) with a double. On the mound Noah S got the ball for the first time with LVBA and tossed a great 1 2/3rd innings only allowing 3 runs. Rocco R would come on in relief once again, and once again he would get it done going 1 1/3rd striking out two Crushers. JaBron J came on in the top of the fourth to shut the door, going one, two, three and striking out one to move the 8u Lightning onto the silver bracket championship.
Game four and the Silver Bracket Championship would bring a familiar opponent in the Lake Havasu Scorpions 9u. With a strong start and a strong finish to the game, the 8u Lightning would secure their second championship as a team and first at the 9u level. This one took a full team effort to secure the 20-13 victory, as every player in the lineup scored a run and reached base safely. Led at the plate in this one by Lucas O (1-1) with a triple 2 RBI and 2 walks, JaBron J (2-4) with a walk and RBI, Rocco R (2-3) with a double, walk and RBI, and Hudson C (1-2) with a walk, run scored and drag bunt base hit. LVBA would need all their top arms to finish the job Sunday, turning to JaBron J (2 innings) for the start, Dillin T (2 innings) in relief, and Rocco R (1 2/3rd innings) to close it out.