The Lightning 11u ended their tournament season by playing in the Summer Wood Bat Finale. They finished the weekend with a 2-2 record and continued a recent trend of playing competitive baseball games. This spring has come with much growth for the boys. Jack H. and Keegan C. are two new solid defensive additions to the team. Xzavian J, Luke L, and Alfonso C have proven to be tough outs at the plate the entire spring. Eli A and Kyle J are becoming reliable aces on the mound. JJ S is a master utility player, providing solid defense and quality at-bats week in and out. Brady S locks down the outfield with Michael B, who might have the most outfield assists in 11u history.
Overall, these past few months have been very productive. The boys played up in triple-a tournaments and competed well in a 12u tournament. The defense, which was their biggest crutch, has improved very much. Pitching and hitting are mechanically solid but will continue to get better as they learn to be more aggressive. Now, as the fundamentals are becoming routine, their baseball sense must improve to take them to the next level. Hopefully this break will rejuvenate them, and they will return fresh and ready to take on their Cooperstown year.
This 11u year has all been made possible by the boys’ parents, who spend more time at a baseball field than I can comprehend. The Lightning coaching staff thanks them all of their support as each player continues to grow and mature throughout this long process. We are excited to see what the future has in store.
Have a GREAT summer everyone!
The 8u LVBA Lightning were back on the diamond this past weekend to finish off the 2019 spring season with the Summer Wood Bat Tournament. The Lightning started things off day one with a couple local opponents in the Vegas Forge and Team Adidas, going 1-1 on the day. LVBA would get things going quickly in game one against the Forge, batting through the order in the top of the first and scoring 10 runs. Rocco R (1-2) and Hudson C (1-3) tallied the only hits for the team with limited strikes thrown and great plate discipline through a total of 3 innings. Collecting 14 walks, 2 HBP by Derek K and 15 stolen bases as a team, the Lightning cruised to a 16-6 win. Noah S got the start for the 8u, tossing a strong two innings giving up 0 earned runs and collecting 4 strikeouts. Giovanni G would come in and add 4 more strikeouts to total 8 as a pitching staff in three innings.In game one of playoff Sunday the 8u Lightning would battle with the Forge again for a spot in the semifinals. LVBA would jump out to another early lead in this one, but this time by swinging the bat. Collecting 11 hits and 4 walks as a team, the Lightning handled game one of the day with a 13-9 victory. Rocco R (2-3), JaBron J (2-3), Dillin T (2-3), and Lucas O (3-3) all had multi-hit games with Lucas O collecting 2 doubles and 3 RBI. On the mound Chase L would get the ball, giving his team a great chance to advance. Chase L gave up 5 ER throwing 2 1/3 innings while striking out 3 and only allowing one hit. The Lightning turned to Noah S again to finish this one out, and he would do just that. Pitching the last 1 2/3 innings for LVBA, he gave up zero earned runs on 3 hits and collected another 2 strikeouts to help advance to the semifinal matchup against Team Adidas.
Game four of the tournament was the game of the weekend and the game of the year for the 8u Lightning, as they faced off against Team Adidas for a chance to compete for a ring. After getting down to an early 5-1 deficit in the first inning, LVBA did what they have been doing all year and fought back for a huge 12-9 semifinal victory. This victory took all eleven players, with each kid stepping up and contributing something when he was called upon. The offense put up 12 runs on 12 hits after only putting 4 runs across and collecting 5 hits as team in game two the day before. Hudson C (1-2), Giovanni G (1-2), Chase L (1-3), Noah S (1-3), JaBron J (1-3) and Rocco R (1-3) all collected a hit in this one with Noah S adding a double. Enzo Z and Maverick C both added a walk and run scored in the victory, with Derek K collecting 2 more HBP and 2 runs scored. Lucas O and Dillin T both went 3-3 in the game, combing for 6 hits, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. On the mound the 8u Lightning turned to their two best arms this season, with Dillin T (2.0, 3 ER) getting the start and JaBron J (3.0, 2 K, 1 ER) coming in relief to finish the game. Both guys threw tremendous, and the defense stepped up behind them when it mattered most the whole game to advance the 8u Lightning to their third championship game in their first season together as a team. LVBA would finish runners up losing to the Xpress 10 -2 but not before an impressive battle through 4 innings, competing in the box and on the mound from top to bottom in the lineup.
The 8u Lightning turned in yet another strong, very competitive weekend to come away with yet another piece of hardware to proudly display; making this the teams second top two finish while playing up in a 9u division and third overall. But more importantly, LVBA turned in an impressive season overall. From the cold start in November, winning our first 8u tournament and first tournament together as team, to finishing second and competing against the second best 9u team in the state with wood bats in our hands. We started as a young group of seven kids playing baseball, and we finished as eleven strong, competitive baseball players all working together to make themselves better on and off the field. The gains that this group of young people have made on the diamond is truly not explainable, but it is all due to their hard work and passion for the game and as their coach I could not be more proud to see their immense improvements between the lines. The strides forward that this group of young people have made in terms of confidence and personalities however, is what I am most proud of. They have turned into a funny and outgoing group that makes it easy to show up to the ball field every night and want to get better. This was an impressive season for the 8u Lightning, but if I know them, they're probably all out getting better right now for their upcoming 9u season.
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.