Saturday, June 26, 2010

Inside the Park Home Run! [2010 Outlaws Baseball Tournament #5 Day #1]

Continuing to tune up for the Cal Ripken Northern California State Tournament, the Outlaws played a tournament at the Woodland Sports Complex. The fields at the Woodland Sports Complex are turf and big. My guess is that the fences are set at more than 300 feet; this become significant.

In the first of two games, the Outlaws played the Martinez Bulldogs. The game was supposed to start at 4:20 p.m., but did not get under way until 5:45 p.m. It was hot; the temperatures were in the high 90's.

At the plate, Jack was 2 for 4 with a bunt, an inside the park home run and two RBIs. In his first at-bat, he hit a 0 and 2 pitch to the left side of the infield. The shortstop misplayed the ball and Jack was safe at first on the error. As I have said before, scoring at this age is an adventure. Scoring on turf fields is even more of an adventure. The surface is very fast. When someone like Jack hits a hard grounder with a heavy big barrel bat, there is very little margin for error. The Bulldogs ended up getting charged with five errors in the game. Jack stole second, but ended the inning there. Jack bunted an 0 and 1 pitch down the first base line for a single in his second plate appearance. He went to second and third on passed balls. Trying to score on Jeremy's grounder to the shortstop, Jack was thrown out at home.

In his third at-bat with Cooper on first, Jack drove the first pitch deep into the gap in right center. As soon as it was in the air, one of the parents sitting next to me said "that's a home run." Slicing slightly, the ball scooted all the way to the fence on the artificial turf. The right fielder broke hard towards the ball and was completely out of position and moving in the wrong direction when the ball landed and sliced around behind him to the fence. Jack never stopped moving and crossed the plate standing up.

Jack hit the first pitch up the third base line in his fourth plate appearance. He was thrown out at first on a very close play. Jack tried to dive for the bag rather than run through it. I think that he would have been safe if he had ran through the bag.

In the field, Jack played five innings at third and one inning at first. He had two put-outs and an assist. In the third inning, Jack fielded a grounder at third and made a great throw to Jermey at home to get a runner trying to score. In the fourth inning, Jack fielded a grounder at third and made the throw to first for the out. Cooper made a fantastic stop diving to left to save one or two runs in the fifth innings and then threw to Jack at first for the third out of the inning.

With their pitchers struggling to throw strikes, the Outlaws gave up three runs in the top of the sixth, but managed to hold on and win by the score of 8 to 7.

In the second game of the day, the Outlaws played the Continental Cobras. Originally scheduled to start at 6:20 p.m., the game did not started until almost 8:00 p.m.

At the plate, Jack walked three times and had one run scored. In his first at-bat, Jack walked on six pitches. He stole second, but was then thrown out trying to steal third. Jack walked on four pitches in his second plate appearance. He scored from first on an error on Jeremy's grounder to short. In his third at-bat, Jack walked on five pitches. He was thrown out stealing second with Niko going home to score from third on the throw.

In the field, Jack played four innings at third base, but never handled the ball.

Combining 4 1/3 solid innings from Josh with some timely defense, the Outlaws won by a score of 7 to 2. It was after 10 p.m. by the time the game was over. The Outlaws ended up being seeded first after the pool play and will play in the semi-final game at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday.

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