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Belmont Bandits 11U baseball team

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Sympathy for the Devil. Bandits go 3-1

Jun. 17, 2019

This past weekend, we made a jaunt up in age classification, and played in the 12u National division. We had a good time doing that, and got to see some new competition along the way which was satisfying. We did not win the tournament, and had a shortened Sunday day of play...so that was disappointing. There were no championships, gold medals, chains, or whatever else is given out to the winning teams. But, at least we got the second half of our Father's Day free and relaxed.

Day one of play saw us take on the Stewards of the Game - STORM team. We came out hot and scored four runs in the first inning, and then we had several miscues that cost us the chance to score some more in the middle innings. We had left a lot of opportunities on the field, and weathered a late two run inning by our opponent before eventually getting by with an 8-3 win.

Game two we hit on all cylinders, and played well in most phases of the game. We won that game 21-11, and earned the #3 seed in the Gold part of the National League tournament. So, we were set to play the #2 seed in the Gold on Sunday, and if we won that game we would face the winner of the #1 vs. #4 matchup.

On Sunday, we faced the Carolina Heat NC team. Before Saturday's first game, the umpires of those two games informed me that "we" (our team) was expected to run roughshod through the field. I politely disagreed, and informed him that we have a bunch of 11u players and you don't know if you will score 10 per inning, give up 10 per inning. Nevertheless, the calls in both the wins on Saturday were not favorable to us. Sunday's game was exceptionally bad. I am informing you now of this, because the standard protocol regarding play on the field is that I tell the kids (and you the parents) that we need to find a way to win no matter what, and it's our job to make a solution happen. I think that does not always go over well with you, and it is probably looked at as my being tough on our own kids unfairly. Well, I did fill out an umpire report card on that Sunday game, and told the truth to the organization - just so you know. No team, especially a team a year younger playing in an older division, needs those kind of odds stacked against them. Three games in a row with the one-sided calls against you like that will make a group reconsider ten years of consistent allegiance to an organization. Yes - the calls were ridiculous. I know several of you were behind the backstop and watching it. We won't make too big a fuss during the game, because that isn't what we want the kids taking away from that or any other game. It's good to get beaten sometimes;  it's good to learn how to try to bounce back, and do something extra to try and turn the tide that is against you. So, we focus on our mistakes and correcting them while at the field.

So, a team that we would beat ten out of ten times did somehow beat us....with the help of umpires and apparently organizational figures being in their ear, and we were left to play the mop up game versus the other losing team. The team that lost ended up being the #1 overall seed, and the last three innings we watched in that game, their fans and coaches had the same reactions our fans had during our game. So - the organization got the championship game between the two teams that were wanted in that spot, and we waited to play the other team. The other team, so disgusted with the umpiring in the game they lost, decided to not play in the game versus us though...so our day was done. I don't know if it counts as a forfeit or not, but I count it as a win because if a team chooses to walk away from the game - you definitely lose. It's hard to teach our kids any adjustments from the Sunday game;  we will continue to focus on creating something good happening - because there was plenty we could have done to seize control in small spots during the game. We had zero walks, and I believe no three balls counts for our offense the entire game. Being upset at the umpire during the game is pointless. Finding a way around the problem will continue to be what we do. Thanks for supporting us, and thanks to the group that put together the Saturday early Father's Day lunch. The weekend wasn't how we wanted to end up, but it was a good life lesson to be had. You can't always get what you want.

 

 

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