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Little League Minor – Moving Forward with 2nd Win of the Season

October 17th:

Our game is a complex one … it’s not about getting a ball and kicking towards a goal, or using a flat bat to hit a round ball. It’s much more difficult than that.

Hitters are trying to hit a round ball with a round bat, in any direction other than where eight other fielders in fair territory are standing.  Pitchers are trying to hit a strike zone that shifts with each hitter, and is subjective at best.  Fielders need to make decisions on where to throw the ball – based on where they are fielding, how many base runners – which base there on ….

There is SO much to learn – but boy we’re heading in the right direction. Regardless of the result – what I saw was impressive.

As I mentioned in last week’s write up – winning games is not that important to me. Creating better kids, and better baseballers is what I’m keen on. And this weekend showed that we have a team of boys who are really moving forward.

Once again our first inning set things up. Any time we can score 5 in an inning is great – but more importantly we did it with swinging the bat and a couple of walks.

Sunny returned with the bat again this week – and is yet to record an out in his at bat, and is batting the illustrious 1.000!! 2 more doubles this week helped us out immensely – but none more so than the lead off in the top of the first. With Sid Stillwell putting a base hit into centre field in his first at bat the first inning showed the value of a positive start. With the next 6 batters getting on base with walks and 2 hit-by-pitch, we recorded the maximum runs and probably never really looked back.

I’m happy for the kids to be patient in their first at bats in the game – and they were. All of them are showing a solid understanding of the strike zone, and are prepared to wait for “their” pitch. Our challenge for future games is to swing the bat. I certainly understand the boys wanting to do the right thing and get on base – but at this level of the game, we want them swinging freely too. Swinging a bat and making contact is one of the best parts of this game – and the increase in confidence that it brings is almost immeasurable. I would much rather see a strike out from a great swing than a constant stream of walks from a hitter – and it is what we will work on from here.

We recorded 7 hits for the game – which bettered last week! Antonie had a great season debut with a couple of singles, Jacob again proved he has some great power with another double this week, and Robinson picked up a couple of RBI’s on a double down the third base line.

It’s those RBI’s that are terrific – particularly off the bat. And my concentration will be on getting the boys to swing the bat when we have runners at 2nd and/or 3rd base. Putting the ball in play (with a safe hit or not) is a massively valuable part of the game which the boys will come to understand.

Defensively we done a pretty good job! It’s hard for our defence to get involved too much with a strikeout pitcher working hard for a few innings – but importantly when the opportunities come along we haven’t made any mistakes. James made a terrific play at shortstop, and a good throw was just a little behind the runner getting to first. Sid did a terrific job behind the plate again – and a “swinging bunt” that landed just in front of the plate was scooped up, and a tremendous throw to Jacob at first completed a brilliantly thought out play. If the ball had of stuck – it would have been a terrific out, but the process behind it from our catcher and first baseman is impressive enough.

Congrats to Robinson who once again had a great outing on the mound. With Peter and Charlie working hard at the plate in their at bats, they are close to breaking out with the bat …. so too James.

Hunter made an impressive debut – particularly after being plunked in his first at bat, but the signs are great with his swing. So too Angus – who did exactly what was asked when instructed to jump into the box and have a swing.

We need to continue to approach the plate with an aggression to hit – and if we can do that, the season is there for us.

Too often when teams lose, we reflect on the individual moments that led to that result – in my view teams lose games, just like teams win games.

Sunday we won as a team.

Wednesday we will have training at 5.00 and we’ll work on all this and more!

Have a great week, we will be in touch when we know more about next week’s game!

Let’s Go Royals!

marty

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