Monday, June 21, 2004

Baseball Overload

The weekend I saw 7 baseball games. We went on a family trip to Omaha for a baseball tournament that my son's team, the KC Indians, played in. The boys played 6 games, and we also took time out to catch a College World Series game.

The boys had a tough go of it in pool play. All teams are thrown into a pool and play three games. Based on those three games, the teams are then seeded into two brackets. In pool play, we went 0-3. The first game on Friday was against the Reds from Colorado. The boys played well, but ended up letting the game slip away in the cold rain. After a long rain delay, we finally were able to play a second game on Friday against the Pacesetters from Omaha. They were an extremely good team, and it really was no contest for our boys. The next tournament game wasn't scheduled until Saturday evening, so we went over to Rosenblatt Stadium to catch the South Carolina/Cal St. Fullerton game in the NCAA College World Series. We were seated in the outfield bleachers and the sun was out. We were baking. The game was pretty boring for spectators. Very few hits and only 2 runs total as Cal State Fullerton got the 2-0 shutout.

Saturday evening, the KC Indians played the Thunder from the Dallas area. Another tough team. One Thunder kid looked as big as me (these are 10 year olds), and he hit one over the fence for the highlight of the game.

Those three games gave us the seeding for the "consolation" bracket. The bracket play is single elimination - lose and you head home. We played at 8:00 Sunday morning against the Cobras from Des Moines. The boys finally put together a good game and won easily. That set up a rematch against the Reds. Without the rain, the Indians were able to out-play the Reds and reached the consolation championship game against the Gators, also from Des Moines.

There is a little bit of a back story in our matchup against the Gators. There is another team from the KC area called the Blue Springs Indians. The B.S. Indians have been a bit of a rival for us. They are a tryout team (we don't do tryouts, we take kids who are friends, neighbors, etc), and my son's best friend plays on their team. We always look up to them as the team we'd like to beat. In a tournament earlier in the year, we played the B.S. Indians and lost by only 1 run, 4-3.

The Gators played the B.S. Indians to reach the consolation championship game and beat them in a rout. I believe the final score was 12-3. So for us, beating the Gators would be a real feather in our cap.

In the final game, the third game of the day for the boys, the Gators jumped out in front scoring 2 runs in the first. The game was tight throughout, and the Indians were able to strike back and led the game 6-4. The Gators were able to put together some hits and took the lead 8-6. The Indians fought back and brought it to 8-7 and held the Gators with some great defense the last two innings. In the bottom of the 6th, the Indians had one last chance to score one to tie and two to win. Things looked good when my son Joey was able to coax a walk. He's a speedy kid and the Gators hadn't been able to throw out a base stealer all day. But here, Joey took off, and the catcher made a good throw for a very close play at second. Joey was called out, erasing the tie run. A fly out to right then ended the game and the tournament for all.

The boys did play really well, especially once they were seeded with equal competition. We are all very proud that they were able to get to the championship game, and played the Gators so close to only lose by 1 run. And the kids were able to bring home a trophy, which helps to make it feel like it was worth the trip.

Now, I have a 1 day break from ball, until my daughter's softball game Tuesday evening.

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