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Belmont Bandits 10U baseball team

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The weekend starts off slow, but ends on positive note

Box Score

May. 21, 2017

We had two games scheduled to kick off day one of The Battle of the Bats tournament this Saturday. We had Elite Baseball 9U and Lake Norman Dingers on the docket, and were on site bright and early for play. Unfortunately, that bright and early part seemed to not work in our favor. Our boys looked like they had been on a kool-aid and twinkie bender with 2 hours sleep during the first game. We were able to turn it on toward the end of that game, and pick it up a little during game two to close out the day.

First game up was against a team that we have played against several times this season. They have some talented kids, and always play hard. We ended up with a 13-6 win, but were not impressive in this game. We pitched several guys, and Blake Hartness, Brody Crawford and Zeke Pruitt all turned in solid innings from the mound. Dalton Skipper lead our hitting in this game, going 2-2 (two singles, 1 run). We also had some other contributors in Crawford (1-2, double, 1 run), Pruitt (1-1, triple, BB, 1 run), Hartness (1-2, double, 1 run) and Patrick Blee with three walks and scoring three runs. Our boys learned a great lesson about baseball momentum, psychology and gamesmanship during this game. We learned how to continually find some inspiration within the game when it is slowed down, and how to mentally reset yourself to try to keep the game fresh. We came away with a win, but it was hard fought and we did not have any outstanding moments to speak of;  the coaches were hoping the boys were saving those type moments for later.

In game 2, we got to play a team we had never played before:  the Lake Norman Dingers. Armed with a catchy name and a lot of effort, these boys came ready to play. They have some really good talent, and a good coaching staff as well. That made for a steady game on both sides for most of this game, and the Bandits struggled to put this team away. They have a memorable group that will continue to do well the more they play together. Patrick Blee and Zeke Pruitt pitched in this game, and both guys pitched great and gave up only one run versus this aggressive swinging group. We had very solid defense behind them, which always helps as well. Brody Crawford had two big catches that kept the solid bats of the Dingers at bay, including one HR saving catch where he had fully extended his arm over his head and running backwards toward the fence. Blee also had a big game filling in at SS, and was able to corral some tough plays into outs. Again, we did not have a litany of players lighting up the scoreboard. Bug Green lead our offense with a 2-3 effort including a smokeshot to the fence that turned into an inside the park HR. He also singled and scored two runs. Dalton Skipper continued a hot hitting day and went 1-2 and walked. Skipper and Coach Blee at first base did a great job of being aggressive on the bases when he legged out a bloop to right and turned what might have been a fly out into a double. Zeke Pruitt went 1-2 with a triple, walk and run scored. We had several guys with singles here and there, but didn't manage to put a lot of hits together consecutively too much. Still, a 9-1 win versus a game opponent was a satisfying feeling to go home with.

It was good to be 2-0 on the day, especially since we felt like we did not play our best baseball. This 2-0 record and our runs given up landed us the #2 seed in the tournament, which meant we would have to face a couple of tough teams on another early morning. Sunday will prove to be a test for the Bandits for sure, and we had to bring a better effort to be able to compete for the Gold Championship at stake.






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