10u Lightning Succumb Late but Weekend was a SUCCESS
The 10u Lightning Club took the field in Peoria, Arizona for their first national tournament of the year. After a disappointing Battle Born performance, the boys were challenged both physically and mentally in practice. Whether it was Coach Mike’s challenging the club, or the change of scenery from one dry desert to another, something clicked for the team.
In game one, Xzavian J and Eli A gave the Lightning a chance to win with strong pitching performances. A solid offense gave the Lightning a one run lead for the majority of the game. One run was plenty for Kenji O, who struck out five of the six final batters to end the game. Game two’s outcome also favored the Lightning, but the score resembled that of a football game more than a baseball game. The bats exploded for 24 runs in three innings of baseball, led by Kyle J, JJ S and Luke L. Michael B took care of business on the mound in two clean innings.
Day two came with more quality baseball. Jacob M had a masterful performance on the mound. His battery mate, Alfonso C threw out two runners behind the plate and helped lead the Lightning to their third win. The Lightning were the #1 seed heading into bracket play.
In the first playoff game, the boys made it harder on themselves than it should have been. Multiple errors made the game drag on. Thankfully, Luke L’s hot bat helped offset the errors, who collected his 6th hit of the weekend during the game. Entering the last half, the game was tied, and a winner was needed to move on. A playoff game with a chance for a walk off might be the moment every hitter looks forward to. A moment that Justin C wasted no time creating, as he hit a walk off home run on the first pitch of the last inning, sending the Lightning to Sunday.
After a 4-0 start, the boy’s steam finally ran out. They lost the semifinal game by one run. A few costly errors and base running mistakes kept the Lightning chasing runs all game. Even when the bats rallied around Kenji O’s magic yellow softball, the defense couldn’t quite get it done. While they may have been overwhelmed with sadness in the moment of defeat, the weekend proved to be a promising step in the right direction, as the boys learned to comp