Game one of the tourney and Rabbit was handed the ball to start us off. This was a bit of a surprise but he took it in stride and pitched well. Coach likes to keep the innings low early on so it was no surprise when he came out after two innings pitched. In that time he had 4 strikeouts, all ground balls, no walks allowed and one earned run. In his only AB he was hit by the first pitch and came around to score after a few steals. Sadly, the game got away and was a lopsided loss.
Game two meant some time at first, but also some bench time. We had been told that Rabbit was going to get some pine to rest up since he would start the first elimination game on Sunday. When he played he did well and had no errors, went 1 for 1 and was walked on 5 pitches. Scored 2 runs and drove in one. Not bad.
Sunday morning was game 3. Another early morning. Rabbit started and kept getting ground balls, but we had a tough time getting a handle on them. He struggled a bit, but ended up surrendering 3 in the first. In the bottom of the first he got an RBI on a fielders choice grounder as part of a five run rally. He then struck out the side in the second on 11 pitches and gave up an unearned run in the third. Then, the fourth happened. The wheels fell off, and the entire team participated. Four runs came across, but they were lucky it was only four. Many mental lapses and poor fielding cost them the lead. They struggled and scrapped the rest of the way, but ended up losing in the first round 11-9. Rabbit went 2-3 with 2 RBI and another run scored. Overall in 4 innings he had 3 earned, 6 strikeouts and one walk. A very solid performance.
It is frustrating to watch the team make some of these errors at this stage. But we need to remember that the boys are all 9 or 10 years old. Rabbit played well and we all have high hopes for the future of this group. There is incredible talent out there with this team, we just need to be sure that we are learning from these tournaments.
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