Talking to a couple of parents and the coaches on Friday night, I wondered out loud if the Outlaws had enough pitching for the weekend tournament. With Breyton out of town for the holiday and Niko playing with Hard 90 in Redding, it just seemed like they were a couple of pitchers short. These concerns become significant on Sunday.
Jack struggled a little at the plate on Saturday. As we were leaving the park on Saturday, he told me that he was bringing a different bat on Sunday. At the time, I thought that he meant his rec bat. Packing the car on Sunday morning, I realized that he had packed a heavier tournament bat, rather than his lighter rec bat or his normal tournament bat. When I got the heavier tournament bat for him last September, I thought that it was too heavy for him and quickly switched him to a lighter model of the same bat. He has not used the heavier bat in a game since last September. Jack and I had an extended discussion about whether it was a good idea to bring the heavier bat. Eventually, I threw up my hands and let him bring the heavier bat. The choice of bats also becomes significant...
The Outlaws played Hard90 Pastime in the first game of the day. Hard90 has two 11U teams: Hard 90 Pastime and Hard 90 Pastime Premier. Niko plays on Hard 90 Pastime Premier.
At the plate, Jack was 3 for 3 with a sacrifice fly, two doubles, a home run, 9 RBIs and 3 runs scored. In his first at-bat with Cooper on third, Jack hit the first pitch for a long fly ball in left center for a sacrifice fly to score Cooper. With the bases loaded in the second inning, Jack drove the first pitch into right center for a double and 3 RBIs in his second plate appearance. Trevor scored all the way from first. In his third at-bat, with Cooper on second and Trevor on first, Jack crushed the first pitch into right center. The ball bounced to the 300 foot fence. As one of the coaches noted, Jack never slowed down. Jack took a quick peek at where the ball was as he headed towards second and just kept rolling. He crossed the plate standing up. Jack drove the first pitch of his fourth plate appearance into left center for a double and two more RBIs.
Jack did all of this damage on only four pitches. As you might imagine, I got an earful about the choice of bats... I will never be able to talk him out of using the heavier bat.
Jack played first base. He had six put-outs on throws from the pitcher, third baseman and second baseman.
The Outlaws scored in every inning and beat Hard90 Pastime by the score of 17 to 1 in a four inning game.
The Outlaws played the Clayton Valley Rawhide in the second game of the day. To have any chance of advancing to Monday, the Outlaws needed to win this game. At this point, the pitching depth became an issue. The Outlaws started a new player without any tournament experience. 10 pitches later, the Outlaws had given up three runs. By the time, they got out of the bottom of the first inning, the Outlaws were behind by the score of 8 to 0.
At the plate, Jack was 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI. In his first at-bat, Jack ran the count to 3 and 2, fouled off the sixth pitch and then struck out swinging on the seventh pitch. After his success in the first game, he was trying to kill the ball. Jack doubled to right center in his second plate appearance to drive in a run. He went to third on the throw.
This at-bat triggered a great deal of running amok. Although I actually saw him touch first base, the other team claimed that he did not touch first. They threw the ball to first and the field umpire called him out. The Outlaws head coach then claimed that the other team did not correctly appeal that he had not touched first. The umpires called for a tournament director, but there was not one available. After a heated extended discussion, the game continued and Jack was called out. This is the first time I have ever seen a player called out for missing a base. Jack did not take this well.
In his third at-bat, Jack popped a 0 and 2 pitch back to the pitcher.
In the field, Jack played six innings at first base. He had six put-outs on throws from the pitcher, third baseman, shortstop and second baseman. There was one throw from Jeremy at shortstop that he was not able to dig out and get the handle and the runner was safe. Jack committed one error. With runners on second and third, a ball was hit to Jeremy at shortstop. Jeremy initially set to try and get the runner at home, but then turned and threw to first. Jack was watching for the play at home never saw Jeremy throw to first.
Giving up eight runs in the bottom of the first inning, the Outlaws tried to claw their way back into the game, but came up short. The Outlaws lost to the Rawhide by the score of 8 to 5 in sixth innings.
The Outlaws ended the weekend with 1 win, 2 losses and 1 tie. All of the teams were very beatable. The Outlaws were just a little short of pitching and made too many errors.
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