Sunday, June 17, 2012

2012 Omaha Slumpbuster Day 5

After beating the Denver Pirates on Saturday, the Outlaws advanced to the quarter finals against the White Sox Ace from Chicago, Illinois. The 11th seeded White Sox Ace beat the 3rd seeded Gulf Coast Gurus in an early morning game on Sunday. The game was played at the La Vista Sports Complex in La Vista, Nebraska.

At all levels, baseball is about pitching. Giving up 11 runs to the White Sox in the first two innings, the Outlaws dug a huge hole for themselves. Josh pitched the first two innings. I worry about Josh. While he was the work horse of the Outlaws/Gunner pitching staff for most of the last four years, Josh has struggled in the last year. His nine inning ERA for 13u was 7.81.

The fences at the field were 275 feet. This plays right into one of Jack's blind spots; he wants so bad to hit one over the fence. He has hit a number of balls further than 275, but always on a larger field.

In his first at-bat, Jack got just under the first pitch and hit a high fly ball to right center for an out. Jack hit a 1 and 2 pitch deep into left field for an out in his second plate appearance. He didn't miss either of those pitches by much.

The umpire's strike zone included a very low outside strike. In his third at-bat, Jack took ball one and then two very low and outside called strikes. Trying to protect, he struck out swinging on a low outside pitch that probably would have been called a strike. oy vey... He ended up 0 for 3 on the day.

In the field, Jack played three innings at third, one inning at first and two innings in center field. Jack actually went to the coaches and said that he wanted to play center field. He has talked about playing center field at Jesuit. Jack had three nice put-outs in center. He went to the wall and made a catch on a long fly ball. Jack literally had one hand on the wall. He made a catch on a high pop-up in shallow center field and threw home to hold the runner at third. Jack also made a nice diving catch on a dying line drive.

After getting down early, the Outlaws lost the game by the score of 13 to 4 and were eliminated from the tournament. The box score is here. The White Sox Ace lost in the semi-final game to a very good Frozen Rope Tigers White team by the score of 11 to 0.

After lunch, we headed to the Embassy Suites where one of the families was staying. The boys spend a couple of hours in the pool. We headed to the airport in the late afternoon. Catching a flight from Omaha to Phoenix, we had a light dinner at the Fox Sports restaurant where we almost always eat breakfast on our way home from Spring Training. Following an uneventful flight from Phoenix to Sacramento, Sharon picked us up at the airport. It was after 1 a.m. by the time that we got home and to bed.

It was a very successful tournament for the Outlaws. I am having a hard time figuring out the path forward for Jack and baseball over the next five months. After four years with essentially the same team, there is a chance that this is the last tournament that he will play with Outlaws...

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