Our week begins on Friday of July 4th weekend as the kids and coaches start filing into town. They all have hopes and dreams of playing on Thursday (the final 16 make it to Thursday playoff games). Some are realistic, some - like our little town - are unrealistic. Usually, for those first couple of days, the kids would gather to play wiffle ball or trade pins with other teams. They would eat lasagna and sloppy joes and would talk about things that normal 12 year olds would talk about. They would compare best pitchers and best hitters. And they would talk about those stupidly expensive Mako bats. Except for team from Wayland (about 45 minutes from us on a good day), no other team from New England made it here this weekend. It's a crap shoot who you are going to play.
Saturday. Opening Ceremonies. A lot of marching around with banners. We entered players into the HR hitting contest, a speed contest called Roadrunner and a pitching contest called the Golden Arm. No advancement to the championship round from any of our single players. On the other hand, we were just a second behind in the star drill however with the rest of the team. Pins were traded, players went home happy.
|First Night Game; C playing 1st Base|
Monday. We got beaten up pretty good by a regional team from outside of Baltimore, Maryland, the WHC Renegades. 32-0. I have already forgotten the details of this game, except that I was thankful for the mercy rule. The next game was a barn burner, though. Due to heavy rains and thunderstorms, C's pitching debut was delayed from 7pm to 12:30am the next morning. We spent time chatting with other parents and players, biding our time for the ridiculous weather to die down. We were all a little sleepy during that game. Undaunted by the change in starting time though, C pitched a 3 hitter with 12 strike outs to win the game 13-2. We are now 2-2 in pool play!
|C's Grand Slam Ball|
Wednesday. The playoffs begin. Since we were seeded 56th, we got a first round bye. Our first game was against a team seeded 94th from New Jersey. We handled them pretty easily, 9-3 as C went 2 for 3 and played great first base. The second game was not pretty. C was the starting pitcher against a team from Plainfield, Illinois. A lot of runs were scored. Another game that I am choosing to forget. We ended up losing 15-3. Although, the pats on the back were disheartening, we ended up going to friend's rented house where most of the rest of the team was. They ended up swimming and laughing, the last loss becoming a distant memory.
Overall, what a great experience for the boys and for us as well. The boys played great. C, who has played AAU baseball in tough conditions before really shined, leading the team in home runs while also winning one of our games for us at Pitcher. It was a real treat to see. And to see the look on his face after the tournament was over...Never mind the fact that he bought a baseball case almost immediately from the gift shop for the home run ball that we had inscribed. I loved seeing the proud look on his face.
One last thing. I told C that his 3 home run game would be something that he would remember for the rest of his life. What I really meant is that it is something that I would remember for the rest of my life.