|Today Drew and his Holly Little League District teammates
traveled to Commerce to begin the trek to the Little League World
Series. They would be taking on the team from Birmingham in an
Holly took the field first, and things went fairly
well early. They let a couple of players on base, but managed to get
a couple of outs in the process. The third out proved to be a bit of
a struggle though, as Birmingham was able to plate two runs before
Holly finally got it. Drew spent the inning in left field, but
didn't see any action. When it was Holly's turn to bat, they weren't
able to generate much excitement. They got a man on base, thanks to
a walk, but that was all they could muster, as two strikeouts and a
week grounder to the pitcher ended the inning.
The second inning seemed to be a repeat of the first, except that
Birmingham managed to plate a run each with one and two outs. One of
the runs came on a misplay by Drew in left, when he bypassed the
cutoff man and sailed the ball all the way to home plate from left
center, allowing a run to reach. Drew finally was able to step into
the batters box in the bottom of the second, with a man on base no
less. Unfortunately the speed of the pitching from Birmingham was
much faster than what anyone on the team was used to, and, when
combined with the consistent but low strike zone from the umpire
Drew just couldn't quite get the key hit when it was needed. Once
again Holly was kept off the board, and trailed by a 4-0 score after
the inning was complete.
The third inning proved to be trouble for Holly, as Birmingham
beat up on two different pitchers, scoring 9 runs in the process.
The big inning seemed to take a bit out of the Holly players, as
they appeared a bit deflated when they finally got the third out.
They weren't prepared to give up, however, finally scoring their
first run of the game with two outs thanks to a past ball. That
would be it, however, and Birmingham had a big 13-1 lead.
Holly went to a new pitcher once more in the fourth inning, and
he seemed to fare better against the Birmingham bats than the
others. He allowed a run, but two strikeouts and a weak pop fly in
foul territory limited the damage to just the single run. Holly
finally broke through with their first hit of the game in the bottom
of the fourth, and Drew had a chance to drive him in during his
second at-bat of the game. Like his first at-bat, Drew couldn't
quite make the adjustment to the strike zone (this pitcher wasn't
blowing any of the kids away), going down swinging once again. Holly
did end up with a run in the inning, but the 14-2 score meant that
the mercy rule had been invoked. Birmingham walked away with the
victory, sending Holly to the "Losers Bracket" in the process. They
can still come out of the Districts, but the challenge has just
gotten a little bit tougher.
Here is a quick recap from the coach: "Today wasnít our best
game. Drew played his butt off in left, Hunter made some good plays
at 2nd, Ethan was huge behind the plate. Itís a simple fix the boys
need to hit. They made adjustments went to lighter bats we just came
up short. At the end of the day all this loss did was force us to
play 1 more game."