9u Lightning Walks-off into the Arizona Sunset
The Lightning came into AZ hungry after a disappointing appearance last year in the same USSSA tournament. They boys got off to a slow start in pool play making uncharacteristic errors and displaying sloppy catch play. Luckily, the pitching staff picked up the slack as well as some much needed pop from the middle of the order.
Day 1: LVBA’s pitching was dominant in game 1 and 2. Pitchers Matt M and Cash C carved up the Salty Dogs in a 9-1 showing. JD N drove in 3 big runs while going 2-2 to help ignite the offense. Game 2 was full of strong pitching as well. Pitchers Santiago W and Brayden L had dominant performances striking out 9 Chandler Halos in 6 innings together. Ethan S and Logan G both went 2-4 while scoring 3 runs in a 16-7 victory. A poor defensive inning allowed the game to be much closer then it needed to be early.
Day 2: The boy’s bats erupted to conclude pool play beating the FV rangers 14-3. Trevor H and Cash C added two hits to compliment a strong pitching perforce by Sawyer V in which he battled around the zone and gave our defense opportunities to succeed. The Bolts earned another 1 seed and went on to play the BOCO 59ers in the quarterfinal. The Bolts won handily 20-0 and cruised into day three.
Day 3: After another strong pitching performance from Williams; Violand and Grubbs helped jumpstart the offense to send the Lightning to the championship after beating the Rain City Royals 9-3.
The championship game was a constant back and forth battle. Despite strong pitching from both teams, offenses found a way to put up runs. Cameron G played a stellar SS all weekend and brought his A game to the championship making several key plays. Maurice pitched like a championship ace in a valiant 5 inning effort. Down 8-7 in the bottom of the 5th, Malachi A roped a 2-run double down the right field line to give the Bolts a 9-8 lead and cap off his ridiculous 13-17 offensive weekend. Brayden Leavitt came in for the save only to give up a solo bomb with two outs that hit the top of the fence and just fell over to tie the ballgame for the Hitman Perez. Leavitt did not fold and came out and threw a scoreless 7th to give his offense another opportunity to win a game… and what do you know, with the game winning run 3rd base with one out for the Lightning; Brayden stepped to the plate. Battling through a 2 strike count, he ripped a deep fly over the centerfielders head to walk off for the Bolts. He seemed pretty fired up.
After losing their last championship game by one run, LVBA showed extreme heart and determination to come out on the winning side this time. The entire team contributed in all phases of the game and won with their high energy and effort. They made their coaches, parents, and teammates very proud going 6-0 to win another championship.