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Not real pretty in our case although there were some high points. We're mostly a 13yo team but we do have a 14yo pitcher who turned 14 on Wednesday. His dad called Friday night to say that he had warts removed from his hands and couldn't play. He had been selected for the 14u all-star team and I think that team was pressuring him to play for them in the tournament so this may have been a fortunate excuse.

We sent out a decent 13yo pitcher in the first game and he gave up 4 runs in 2 innings against a strong hitting 14yo team. I decided to save his arm and put in a "crafty" lefty type and followed him with a sidearmer who keeps the ball low. That resulted in a mercy after 4-1/2 innings.

We came back the next day against another strong hitting 14yo team and I started my son expecting a repeat of the day before where he'd give up a few runs, we'd be behind and I'd pull him after a couple and save him for Monday. He threw 3 strong innings giving up one run in the first and then lost his command in the 4th hitting a batter with a bases loaded change up. He managed to get out of that inning only giving up one run and then got through the fifth but was clearly done, although he was insisting he could come back on Monday. We managed to tie the game at 2-2 and went into the 7th with that score. One mental error in the field allowed a baserunner and that was too much for the pitcher I had finishing the game and things unraveled pretty quickly and we lost. That team ended up making the finals of the tournament so it was a pretty good game for our kids.

That left us with the consolation game on Monday against the local team who had been given a very soft draw and still lost both games. Before we got a chance to play that game I got a call from our center fielder's dad who informed me that he had tried out for and made a pay to play team and since this was only a consolation game they were quitting right then and there. Of course I had planned to start the centerfielder on the mound in the consolation game. I had no real pitchers left but we still beat the local team handily with solid defense. That was a nice finish because it was a bit of a grudge match and we really wanted to beat them, although it would have been nice if we could have faced them earlier in the tournament and gotten into the semi's as a result.
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We finished our Dixie Major League Conference Tournament and closing ceremonies on Thursday so that the mass exodus to Myrtle Beach's annual "First Week" could begin uninterrupted. First Week is a VERY big deal for many South Carolinian's, as is the Carolina Cup, Gamecock football, the State Fair and let's not forget the Okra Strut.

The Tournament was enjoyable. Since we already won our Conference title, the Tournament was pretty laid back. We pitched some kids that hadn't seen much mound time during the season and played some others a bit more.

One boy (Big Will) that wasn't pitched during the season but had been working very hard did a great job. I predict that he will be the surprise of the league next year in Dixie Boys (Pony). He is 12yo, 5'11" and I gunned him at 73 ...cruising...not even throwing hard. He has always had a cannon but was wild as a buck. The second to last game of the tournament, he said that he was ready and we put him in for one inning. He threw 12 pitches and struck out all 3 batters... then he pitched three innings of the last game and struck out 9 in a row.

After the Championship game, the All Star teams were selected, the trophies handed out and I waved goodbye to my 11yo as he piled in his mom's car and left for the beach!

"Congratulations son. Swing that bat and throw every day! All Star's starts in 2 weeks! ...See you when you get back. Love ya son!"


PS - More about "Big Will" later...
Last edited by Callaway

My older son and I were assistant coaches on this team. I was not the "head" coach. And while the "head" coach rarely made an appearence at practice or on the field during games, he did create the fielding charts to ensure that we remained in compliance with Dixie rules. He was also the grandfather to two of our players (cousins, not brothers).

The first was our 3B who never would have seen an inning at third if he weren't "kin" and the other was the boy with the attitude, that I have written about before.

What my son and I witnessed (as well as the parents) was that this team was intended to be a "showcase" for his two grandsons. The 3B was terrible and he would only pitch his other grandson if the team was bad (complete games against the two worst teams in the league) or when we had big leads. It was obvious and a joke to all.

The tragedy was that Big Will was never given a chance to show his stuff. I told the coach many times throughout the season to get him in. He refused, he refused and he refused. Finally at the 2nd to last game of the year my son sent him to the bullpen in direct opposition to the coach. By the time that the coach saw what was going on it was too late. Big Will was on the mound! He then proceeded to throw 12 pitches and struck out all three batters.

At the last game of the Conference Tournament, the "head" coach told me to get Boomer warmed up to finish the last 3 innings. I sent Will to the bullpen instead. Again, Big Will threw overpowering gas and struck out 9 batters. All you could hear in the stands was "Oh my, where has this kid been all season." and "Holy cow, he throws harder than Jake!"

The All Star coach for our conference was in our bleachers and I walked over to him and said, "Wait 'til you get a load of this guy!". I looked over to see his reaction as Will began pitching. His jaw dropped and his head fell to his hands. You see, Big Will was on the "watch list" but was never "nominated" therefore, Dixie rules doesn't permit his selection to All Stars.

He would have made it easily. What a shame. I went to his parents after his first game pitching and apologized for not forcing the issue sooner (they heard me trying to get him in all season). I promised them that I would get him in the last game and I did.

Some coach is going to get a prize. This kid has a cannon. His dad is about 6'6" and his mom is probably 5'10".
Our 11U went 3-1, finished second in the tournament. Lost a heartbreaker in the championship game. Down 6-3 going to the top of the 6th we scored 3 to tie it. Top of the 7th we got one across to take the lead. Bottom of 7th we retire the first two batters then give up a bloop hit, a walk, and then a kid was 0-3 hits a double scoring both runs. They won 8-7,the same score we beat them by in pool play. Calloway- Gamecock football??? Come on man, you know the truth.
14U went 4-1 and took 2nd, we felt there may have been some home cooking in the champions ship game but we can't excuse not executing when we had the chance. They appeared to have opportunities appear like weeds in the grass, oh well.

8U went 1-2. They had allot of fun, the manager discovered that he has two pitchers that need to catch the other when on the hill. The other catcher the team has literally ran out of the catchers box when one of the two boys was pitching. Pair of 8 yo that can hit just under 50 MPH, (Kids dad is a cop and had his radar gun out, LOL)
Our 11U went 3-1 in our State championship Pool. We outplayed the team and lost a game we shouldn't have lost (8-5). Our 3B booted 2 routiine balls (which he NEVER does) with 2 outs in seperate innings that cost us at least 4 runs.

My son played very well in hitting over .500 and threw out 4 runners at 2B and 2 at 3B from behind the plate.

This weekend is the Championship Play. Keep your fingers crossed.
Last edited by redbird5
We (14U) were 2-1 in the Bridgewater Blast (NJ). Lost to a real solid team in our first game, and came back to win 7-6 and 3-2 in our other games. We were losing 6-3 for most of that 7-6 game, and came back and held them with bases loaded in the last inning.

All in all, a good weekend, but we missed the playoffs. There were 4 2-1 teams, but one gave up less runs than us and got the wildcard. oh well...
My son's 12U team went 1-3. But, they played well and were close in the tough games. Lost by small margins. Had opportunities but some "interesting" coaching decisions took the wind out of their sails. We were pleased with the boys' perfomance. Possibly the last time they play together as a team. Many are moving up, trying out for Legion, or in my son's case, staying at 12U and trying out this weekend (wish him luck) for a team that is much closer and a good team to boot!
Well my 14U kids had a great weekend. 5-0 against some decent competition. The key was our #3 starter threw a complete game shutout, (well 6 innings to the time limit), in the last game of pool play and allowed 1 and 1A to be ready for the semi's and finals.

We hit 7 jacks during the 5 games played with 300' fences and didn't commit more then 2 or 3 errors in any one game. Overall the kids are progressing pretty well.
My son's team went 3-1 in the NJ Premier Tournament Baseball Memorial Day Tournament. They won their first 3 games and then lost in the championship game. Frown

The boys had a blast and were quite excited by their performance. It has been a tough regular season, but it was a great way to kick off the tournament season.

My son was moved up in the lineup to bat second for the first time this year (This is were I thought he should be and would do the most good all along) He went 4 for 9 with an HR and 4 BB's.

In the championship game we were down by 4 when he came up with 2 outs and the bases loaded. On the second pitch he stroked what could have been a 3 run double down the left field line but their 3B made a great diving play to end the inning.

We have not played on a field with fences all year ( cow pastures mostly Smile ) and this was his first real HR were I could see his HR trot!

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