Congrats to the 8u Lightning for hosting the Memorial Day Tournament and coming out victorious in the 6-team field. The team started slow in the tournament, but played their best form of baseball in the last games of the tournament. Peaking at the end of the tournament was amazing to witness and enjoy as all parts of the team were displayed to lead them to a championship.
Game 1 of pool play they opened against the Las Vegas Desert Storm. A strong pitching performance from Jake G showed his brilliance on the mound attacking hitters early and finishing them later in counts when he needed to. On the other side, the Desert Storm was as outstanding which forced the bats to stay quiet. Outside of two bases loaded walks the offense was absent, leaving a total of 10 runners on base. Jake G finished with 3.2 innings and gave up 0 earned runs, with 6 k's. Rocco G came into relief and pitched well in his performance. Both teams walked some runs in, but the Desert Storm came up with one extra big hit and came out victorious 3-2. Ridge O found his way on base in all 3 at bats. Game 2 of pool play was matched up against the Mad Dawgs out of California. The bolts immediately responded from the game 1 defeat and put up 7 runs in the first inning. Jayson M threw a 0 and the bolts started their uphill swing for the weekend. Mason D had a huge game going 2-3 with 3 runs batted in. Noah H had his longest pitching performance of his season by cruising through 3 innings and had 3 strikeouts.
Day 2 of the weekend opened with a game versus the Sin City Thunder. The offense was tremendous from the beginning: with tough at bats, huge base hits, and intelligent base running. All Lightning players reached base throughout this game. Cash R had a great game going 3-3 with 3 runs scored and 3 rbi's. Vincent S and Noah H each had 3 rbi's. The last game of pool play was a true test of development shown from the 8u Lightning. Matching up against the CBA Blast, they were challenged by a tough pitcher on the mound that had been successful against them in the past. Looking ahead into the game vs. CBA Blast, it projected as a low scoring pitcher’s duel. The 8u Lightning were still in contention of reaching the championship game if victorious in the last game of pool play. Out of the gate Marco C was unbelievable. He dominated the other team with a great mix of his pitches, limiting the other team to only 2 hits and 7 punch outs in his outing. On the offensive side, the entire lineup had smart at bats, forcing the other team to throw strikes and battle to put everything in play with two strikes. In the first 8 out of the first 9 batters reached base and multiple at bats forced 8 pitches to reach on base. In the first inning the Lightning was able to plate 6 runners and gained great control of the game. The Lightning added a few more runs and finished the game with an 8-0 victory in 5 innings. Jayson M went 3-3 with 2 doubles and Jake G reached base 3 times.
Onto Championship Monday, the Lightning were thankful to be in the championship game by winning a tie breaker on less runs allowed. They were also thankful for all the men and women that have served to allow them this wonderful opportunity to play such a wonderful game on Memorial Day. The 8u Lightning earned an opportunity for revenge against the Desert Storm and came out with a vengeance. Putting pressure on the other team early and often was the secret to success in this game. Scoring 3 runs in each of the first 3 innings led to a 10-2 victory for the Lightning. Marco C had 3 hits, Jack D had multiple runs batted in, Alex S was on base in both at bats, and the top 3 of the lineup: Jake G, Jason M, and Rocco G were tremendous each going 2-3.
Finishing their 8u style of play on a high note, the boys look forward to the upcoming competition with 9u rules. Congratulations to the 8u Lightning in completing the sweep of both LVBA hosted tournaments, being the first Lightning team ever to win both tournaments in succession.