Well, we finally got a chance to play at the Big League Dreams parks this past weekend. This was originally scheduled as a 9U tourney, but we ended up playing in 10U. There were 9 9yo and 3 10yo if I remember correctly. The first two games were against 9U teams though so we felt like we might have a good showing after back-to-back disappointing tournaments. Well, so much for that idea.
The boys were not ready to play. It must be summer. We took about 4 innings to get into the game and lost a game that was extremely winnable. Rabbit sat the first inning, then came in to play 1st base. He never left the field, or 1st base, after that. He played the next14 innings at first. He looked great and made the plays he needed to. Sinking liners, pop-ups, long stretches, flips to the cover man, a good set of games for him. The one thing he does need to work on is receiving pick-off attempts. He misplayed 2 of those that led to runners advancing.
Rabbit also hit well on day 1. Two infield singles and two RBIs helped ease some of the sting. He struck out once and flew out once to go 2-4 on the day. The second game was a mess. There was a moment in the third inning when you could watch the entire team give up. It was frustrating to watch them quit caring. I imagine all of the boys heard about it on the way home, after they heard about it from the coach. They needed to be better on Sunday. We had no chance of getting to the finals, but this level of play was simply unacceptable. We talked with Rabbit about acting as a leader, keeping his teammates in the game, encouraging the pitcher and basically not allowing the team to quit. He took it to heart.
Sunday morning the boys warmed up with a spring in their step. They looked like a different team entirely. We were the home team and did not allow a hit or run in the first inning. A first! We then came back in the bottom of the inning and put up a 6 spot. Rabbit laced a single over second to drive in his third run of the tourney. Back on 1B he made the plays he needed to and did a great job helping everyone stay focused. It was an entirely different team out there. The boys were all talking, encouraging, congratulating and helping in any way they could. At one point we retired 8 straight opposing batters. The SS had some amazing plays and the pitchers were on their games. It was fun to watch. We ended up winning 11-7 in a game that never really got close. It was a good win and everyone felt much better.
Since Rabbit did not pitch this tournament I took him to the park to throw once we got home. He threw 72 pitches under a "simulated game" format. He was a mess early, but settled in nicely and popped 50-51. he then wanted to run, shag flies, take throws at 1B and hit. We had to drag him off the field to go to Grandma's for dinner.
We ended the weekend on a high note which we needed. Tonight is hitting and then practice Wednesday and Friday. We have passed on the CCYB World Series tourney due to being out of town so our next tournament appears to be August 9-10.
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