First Tourny Has Come and Gone
On March 18th 2016 we packed into our vehicles and hit the road for our first ever baseball tournament as a club. We headed South to Las Cruces, NM where the competition is fierce and competitive baseball starts at 4 years old (5u TBall). We knew as a team we would be put to the test! Southern NM is known for it’s competitive sports and being so close to Texas, Las Cruces draws in teams from Lubbock, El Paso and other West Texas communities near by as well. Overall the 8u (8 years old and younger) division had 16 teams entered into the 2016 Bataan Death March Super NIT.
A great turn out for a great event! There where many teams in each of the age groups and even several divisions within some of the more popular ages entered. Our 2016 8u Eclipse Baseball Club team was 1 of only 2 8u Kid Pitch teams entered, which was a bit disappointing. However the tournament staff made the best of the situation for us and entered us in with the 8u Coach Pitch teams so we would have the same 5 game guarantee as the rest of the teams. In addition they also set up a championship match the final day between the two kid pitch teams entered.
We came out and played strong defensively our first game but ultimately lost the battle offensively with only 1 run. We made a few adjustments and came out and played even harder the next game. This time we would get our bats working and put up 9 runs in only 3 innings. It just wasn’t enough for the win as the other team managed to scored 14 runs. This seemed to be the theme of the weekend as we lost several other games through out the weekend in the battle of the bats.
Our highlight of the weekend was the final game of Saturday night against the other kid pitch team. It was a close match which we lost only 2 to 1. It was exiting for the kids to be playing under the lights in a night game and you could feel the energy on the field. The first half of the game was dominated by Eclipse as we lead 1-0. Our first two innings we managed to shut out the opponent with some stellar pitching by Forrest Duke (#11). Forrest shut down 6 consecutive batter with 6 total strike outs in only two innings pitched. We lost the close game in the third inning with a few minor errors but it was a battle to the end. We also demonstrated some great pitching with Estevan Barela (#22) getting 2 strike outs to end the inning.
Even though we didn’t accomplish our first team goal of winning a game, the tournament was a success. We grew stronger as a team and learned a little more about ourselves. We learned as coaches and staff as well which is always a plus. Fun was had by all and I’m sure this will be a positive memory that will stick with the kids throughout their baseball careers.
To end on a positive note we did accomplish our team’s second goal, even if it was on a technicality. Our team’s second goal was to place in a tournament which we did coming in second place in the kid pitch 8u division championship. While this was not exactly how I had pictured this goal being accomplished, we accomplished it non the less. The kids were super happy to get championship rings and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.