Congratulations to the 9U Lightning for winning the 2019 LVBA Memorial Day Baseball Bash. This is back to back wins for the 9U Lightning in this tournament marking the first two victories of a Lightning team in LVBA hosted tournaments. Over the weekend the team went 6-0 outslugging their opponents putting up 69 runs in the six contests.
First game of the tournament was against the Colorado Yard Dawgs. The Lightning jumped out early and came out victorious 10-2. Mason D had 3 rbi’s and Ridge O had a solid performance with 3 innings on the mound. Second game of the day was a great showing by the 9U team with another win of 16-1 against America’s Pastime Sports out of New Mexico. Rocco G pitched 3 solid innings allowing 1 run and striking out 3. Jameson D, Bryson D, Mason D, Rocco G, and Jake G each had two hits in the game.
On day two of the tournament, there were two matchups set up against local Vegas teams: Vegas Gamers and Team Adidas Silverman. The Lightning continued their offensive attack and went onto beat the Gamers 10-2. Alex S had 2 shutout innings in the game. Ty C had 2 rbi’s. Bryson D, Alex S, and Ty C each hit a double in the game. Against Team Adidas Silverman the Lightning jumped out early in the first to a 5-2 lead. Extended the lead to 7-3 after 3, then the defense fell apart. With 6 errors in the inning, Team Adidas put up 7 runs and took a 10-7 lead. With the high-powered offense of the weekend, the bolts fought back and came out ahead 11-10 in 6 innings. Jameson pitched 3.1 strong innings allowing 1 earned run with 5 strikeouts. Jake G came in and shut the door over 2.2 innings pitched. Ridge O had 2 hits and 2 rbi’s. Connor M had two hits in the game. A brutal defensive performance to wrap up pool play but the Lightning did just enough to earn the 1 seed in their bracket for championship Monday.
Semifinal game was set for 9am against local competitor Team Adidas-Fairweather. The opponents jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Lightning responded with 2 in the bottom of the first. Then, Marco C settled down on the mound and worked a wonderful game on the mound. In 4 innings of work limited the opponents to 1 hit and no walks, while striking out 3. Mason D had 3 rbis in the game and Marco C reached base both times. The offensive firepower from the previous 4 games of the tournament wasn’t as dominant, but the Lightning’s offense found ways to put pressure on the defense in other ways. With great baserunning and poor defensive execution from the opponents, the Lightning came out winners 10-2 in 4 short innings.
Championship game had great buildup awaiting the other semifinal to finish. The anticipation to face the Vegas Xpress in what felt a long time off from competing against them. Championship game was set to be a tournament victor between local rivals of Vegas Xpress and 9U Lightning. The paths to reach the championship game may have been different, but the matchup was set for a tournament champion. Both teams threw shutouts in the first inning. Lighting jumped out 2-0 in the top 2nd with a couple runners reaching with walks and Bryson D and Connor M driving in the first two runs of the game. Vincent S came up with huge triple in the 3rd that drove in the 3rd run of the game for the Lightning. Vincent S would later score on a single by Jake G. Rocco G drove in Jake G with a sac fly to put the Lightning up 5-0. Bottom 3rd the Xpress scored one and Jake G was done on the mound. He threw 3 stellar innings leaving the game with a 5-1 lead. Top of the 4th was 3 up, 3 down for the Lightning. Bottom 4, Connor M came into pitch and a few defensive miscues built an inning for Xpress. He was able to retire a few batters before handing the ball of to Mason D. He closed out the bottom half of the inning, but the Xpress were able to put up 2. Score was 5-3 after 4, with momentum slowly creeping towards Xpress. Bolts responded and put up 5 in the top of the 5th. A few hits, a walk, hit batter, and three intelligent baserunning reads from the players led to the big inning. Back in control of the game up 10-3. The Xpress continued to fight putting up 3 in bottom of the 5th. The Bolts countered with 2 in the 6th. A perfect bottom of the 6th resulted in a 12-6 victory for the Lightning. Connor M led the offense with 2 hits and Alex S drew 3 BB’s. With great plate discipline drawing 8 walks in the game, making smart baserunning reads and taking advantage of defensive mistakes the 9U Lightning won the game. Mason D closed the championship with 2.1 solid innings on the mound.
After a successful Memorial Day Tournament, the Lightning look forward to a short break and the Xtreme Diamond World Series in late July.