Well our young 10/11 yo. had their last 2 games of the season last week. The first game was against a team we had never faced before. We had some of our kids show up early for a little bullpen work. Right before we left for the game, I looked this team up on the computer and found out they were a pretty decent squad. But, the one thing that scared me was how they pounded some teams with scores of like 15-3, 12-1, 9-0, etc… I was afraid that wouldn’t bode very well with our young guys. My Ace 11 y/o pitched 3 scoreless innings for us, and we jumped out to a big (something like) 9-0 lead. This took them so by surprise I let a kid in who only pitched once for us before this season and we held on to run the game out of time with a 19-3 win.
Then came our last game of the season. We played a pretty good local team for our finisher. We (coaches) decide before the game to mix our kids around this last one and main focus would be FUN. We pitched our little ace for 2 innings of shutout ball and the head coach told him great season and great game now we are going to let the other kids whoever they may be finish it out. We were up 3-0 at the time.
3rd inning came around and we put in a kid who started out decent and just started to fall apart some during the last half of the year. He started the inning with a quick out then things went bad. Two walks, a hit and run scored. While he was walking the next hitter the head coach asked me what he was doing wrong? I answered, no faith in himself! Watch his delivery, footwork, everything is fine, but right as he lets go of the ball he panics and his hand tries to push or aim it across the plate. So, then it hit me, I called time and went out and told the kid how much faith I had in him and if he would have just half as much faith in himself he would get through this. Well, one strikeout and easy play to first and we were out of the inning.
Bottom of the 3rd we went out 1-2-3. Top of the fourth and the head coach says who wants to pitch this one? That’s when it happened. My son who has been catching and playing shortstop most of the season said Coach I want in bad! The coach had been wanting him to start pitching again but he had hurt his elbow (non baseball related) early in the year and was struggling after that so he didn’t want to try. Well in he went and first two batters reached on errors. My heart sunk, but the team and parents urged and cheered him on. I told our little catcher (who was catching for the second time in his life) make a big target over the center of the plate and then told my son just GO GET EM! Mixing in pitches he has watched me teach other kids he struck out the next 3 batters.
Bottom of the fourth and we scored some more runs making it 5-1 and the coach sent my son right back out there. First kid hits a week grounder to 3rd and it turns into a little league triple lol. The next kid he strikes out. Then the next one lays a beautiful bunt. My boy charges it bare hands it and throws him out. Then there best hitter comes up and my boy strikes him out on 5 pitches. We end up winning 8-2 and our lil guys leave this season chomping at the bit for next year! Add this with how well the other kids I coach are pitching in tournament ball and it leaves me feeling very satisfied for the season.
Just thought it would be nice to post a all happy post rather than one filled with woes from our young team!