Belmont Bandits 9U baseball team
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Day 2 of Summer Nationals brings the heat
Jul. 23, 2017
Oh the new faces we saw this weekend, all weekend long. When you hear of others say that they don't hold tryouts or recruit, don't believe the lie. The teams we saw this weekend are made up of a collection of committed players and families, and it showed.
Good teams abound all over the place in this tourny. The bold show up to play ball, and the faint of heart show up at Sweet Frog. Had two games on Saturday, and they didn't disappoint too much. Game 1 vs. Wildthings Baseball out of Randolph County. Game 2 vs. Mallard Creek Miners 9u. The action began at 12:22...and as Glenn Frey used to sing - The heat is on....
Game 1 we came out with a 14-3 victory for those supporters that were unable to make the trip. It was a hot, fun day of ball. We jumped on this team early and never let up. We were still smarting from a loss we felt shouldn't have happened on day one, and we set out to right the ship early. We placed 4 in the first, 2 in the second, and finished up with a strong 4 runs in the fourth and fifth, respectively. Blake Hartness was straight fire all weekend on the mound. On the weekend, he pitched 8 scoreless innings, broken up amongst three games. Fresh off a beach trip, he traded in his flip flops for strikeouts and weakly hit grounders on Saturday and Sunday. Defense was pretty good this game, and the game was ended on a hard hit ball to centerfield, which Brody C. caught on the run and doubled up the runner at first base as Landon King stretched and snagged the ball to secure the win. As sweet Trey would say....."oooooaaahhh, ooooaahhh". Leading our offense was diminutive Brody Crawford. He was 4 for 4 in this game, and unconscionable at the plate the first two games of this tournament. He scored four runs, and sparked our offense all weekend long. One of his hits was an opposite field double off the wall that almost marked the third HR of the game for the Bandits. Zeke Pruitt came in hot with a sweet 3-3 effort, and oh yeah- as our friendly northern umpire called it, hit a "dong" to left field. He also had a walk and two doubles on the day, plus scored 4 runs. Christopher Wurster went 3-3 with a Home Run to his name, and also added two singles. Both Chris and Zeke's shots were line drives, and both were sweeter than sweet tea. Carsten Green also got into the action on offense going 4-4 including a double and scored 2 runs. Landon King tallied a 2-4 effort including a double and two runs scored. It was a fun game on both sides of the ball. We played aggressively, and we played well. We had a nice comfortable lead in this one, but we did try to stretch some pitching and allowed three late runs...but it would help in games to come in this action-packed tournament.
Game 2 had us facing the Mallard Creek Miners 9u team. We had Blake Hartness pitch another 3 innings scoreless in this game. Would've been nice to clone Blake on the mound this weekend, because he held opponents in check over and over again no matter who showed up to bat. We kinda played like crap in this game. We had a weekend full of those "oh yeah, we haven't played or practiced much in the last month" moments. Those moments showed a couple times, and cost us dearly. Some typical plays, scenarios and swings that were easy a month or two ago, didn't work out as easily this weekend. Part of it has to do with the great competition we faced, but we all saw our atypical unforced errors. It's football season in Belmont, as everyone knows....and we were playing baseball like football players at times. Still - we gave great efforts in all our games, and even in the losses we were proud of the guys. We lost this game late- in a 10-11 fashion. Tough loss for us. A bounce here or there, even with our sloppy play would've made a big difference in how we expected and liked the outcome. Oh well. We didn't have much offensive fireworks in this game, but did have Crawford reaching base 3 times out of 4, Landon King with a triple and Dalton Skipper getting down a couple great bunts in crucial times. We liked the fight we saw, and we should have been done in about 3 innings in this game. Oh well...such is baseball. It's anybody's game at anytime. Any team can beat another always; we know that, and this team came ready to snatch victory from our hands, and accomplished their mission. Good for them.
One more day of baseball left....and we are 7 seeded with our rag tag play. It's a tournament unlike anything else around here, with every team showing everything they can do including their new pick ups and strong pitching. Some really legit programs still left to face on Sunday, and they show up with their own guys too - a respectable move.
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