Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2016 Sandwich Tournament Triumph

I had watched too many of these Sandwich Summer Blast Tournaments.  First C from when he was 9 years old until he was 12.  Then G at the same time.  8 years, really.  In those 8 years, I had seen 1 win.  1 WIN! And I had seen perhaps 18 losses and a couple of ties.  I wish I were exaggerating. 

Star of the Game
You see the Sandwich Tournament, held ever summer for 8-12 year olds, typically pitted some of the best teams in eastern Massachusetts against each other.  And while C and G both had good teams, they were no match for Walpole, Milton, Braintree and the Cape teams.  We just did not take baseball seriously enough in our small little corner of the world.

And 2016 didn't seem to be that different.  We went 1-2 in Williamsport and 1-2 in the Pembroke tournament.  And while we had a winning record in our regular season, the tournaments were where things could really be defined.  Was G's team a good team?  Or was it a team that excelled when it really didn't matter. Although I did not coach the team anymore, I was hopeful that some of the raw talent that I had seen would actually start to show itself.  And I really wanted to beat the teams that we normally lost to.

Thursday.  The draw could not have been better.  We drew the Sandwich B team for our first game.  Usually the worst team in the tournament year after year - well one of the worst teams - it would be nice to start the tournament on a high note and gain some confidence going into the weekend.  A 22-0 win did the trick.  G even got a star of the game award for going 4-4 in the game.  I think he was pissed though because he was thinking to himself that he would not get another one.

Saturday.  Usually moving day in this tournament.  We faced a tough Martha's Vineyard crew who had tied us two of the three previous years.  Not this time though as we proceeded to slaughter rule them 14-4.  The hitting was certainly off to a good start.  And the hitting didn't stop in G's start as we beat a hungry Westwood team 8-3.  G surrendered only a couple of runs and our hitting was instead led by the bottom of the lineup as a couple of kids who had never hit home runs before in their lives struck it big in this game.  We are now 3-0 and very likely the #1 seed.  I can see all of the other teams chuckling; thinking that this was a mirage...a joke.

Sunday.  And yes we were a #1 seed and got to face Sandwich B again.  Knowing that we would beat them handily, we started one of the pitchers who had never started before.  Although he gave up a couple of
runs, we still easily dispatched them 16-4.  Or something like that.  Come on.  Net up was Hingham.  Oh this would be a good game.

And Hingham would prove to be a good game...for us.  Notwithstanding that this team of clowns (not the scary clowns that are terrorizing college campuses, but the dumb clowns) brought in a couple of ringers to specifically play this tournament, they could not handle our lefty specialist.  And G hit a couple of ringers himself.  Our 13-3 win could not happen to a nicer crew of guys and kids.  Onto the semifinals.

And in the Semifinals, we would play arguably one of the best teams in the tournament, Walpole American.  They had one kid bigger than me and a couple of kids who looked like they played for Walpole High School.  But that was daunting to big G as he hit a 3 run Homer to give us an early 3-0 lead.  And while we would eventually enter the 6th inning tied 8-8 after we blew an 8-0 lead, our gutsy play would get us a to a walk off win, 9-8.  Onto the finals!

And what a finals.  G was going to be the starter for the championship game.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever been so nervous for one of my children.  but he was rocks solid.  Again, after the first tow batter reached base int eh First Inning, G came up and hit another 3 run Home Run, just like the game before!  YES!  And that was all we needed.  He pitched a great game (After pitching 4 innings yesterday against Westwood, he pitched another incredible 5 innings in this game, giving up just one run).  And Scituate came away with one of the most improbably Sandwich Tournament wins ever.  I mean ever!

And then after 4 games on Sunday, G, looking exhausted, asked "When is Cooperstown?"  The following week.  The following week. 

No comments:

Post a Comment