Filed under: General
Posted by: Gavin
@ 9:32 am
It’s been a difficult weekend after the loss to Goodyear Saturday night. Deer Valley All Stars have been knocked out of the tournament without ever playing their last game which goes off tonight at 5:30. Don’t get me wrong. Saturday’s game was the best game that these All Stars have played to date but the result was the loss that knocked us out. Deer Valley was ahead late after 5 innings 2 to 1. Brian Linhart pitched his heart out that game and had done a wonderful job. But a couple of walks later and a two run double up the middle wrapped up the Deer Valley All Stars 2006 campaign ending the game 3 to 2 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Sidewinder All Stars should finish pool play with a 4 and 0 record (worst case, 3 and 1) while Goodyear should end pool play 3 and 1 (2 and 2 worst case but head to head we lost to them – we lose and they advance). Everything will be wrapped up tonight as far as our pool goes. Coach Anthony has already said that he plans on playing the kids that have sat most the first three games and others will sit in their place tonight. It’s just been a tough weekend thinking back on the tournament so far and especially the Sidewinder game. There were four or five errors that game costing four runs. That doesn’t even mention the at least two base running errors that cost us two outs in the fourth inning. Two base running errors that counted for two outs in a rally inning really hurt. And why was there no first base coach? We put a player on to coach first this game instead of a coach. That led to one of the base running errors.
Would have, could have, should have isn’t where I had hoped to be today. The last game had no errors but we still only hit .200 for a team. The first game we only hit .238 as a team and .174 against Sidewinder. Another reason we are where we are now. For the tournament the Deer Valley All Stars are hitting .203. One bright star from this is Tyler’s performance. All season Tyler has struggled with the hitting but he showed up to play this tournament. Tyler hit .375 with a walk in 9 at bats scoring 2 runs with 3 RBI’s. It was great to see Tyler come through hitting as well as he has.
OK, we play Buckeye tonight and our season will be over. It is time to look ahead to the Rebels and hopefully a greatly improved team for the new season to come. Carol and I started looking around and found a post on a local baseball website for a team needing a pitcher for a tournament in Park City, Utah coming up on July 20, 21 and 22. We talked about it and decided that if Tyler wanted to try for this and they still needed a pitcher we would go ahead and give it a shot. We asked Tyler if he would want to do this and without hesitation he said, “Yes.” So I sent the email Sunday afternoon to the coach of the Chandler RedSox, an 11U team ( a step up from where Tyler’s been playing at 10U). Tyler kept checking to see if we had called and we explained that we sent the email but hadn’t heard anything.
Monday morning arrived and I finally receive a response from Matt Lamb the coach of the Chandler RedSox and he stated they do still need a pitcher and asked if we could come out to Mesa for a tryout? I responded and let him know that we could but it would have to be later that day. I was looking out for Tyler. He was still sleeping and I knew he wouldn’t be awake much before 11:30 or so. So we worked it all out and I did advise that we were still in All Stars but only through Wednesday as we had already been knocked from the tournament.
Tyler finally wakes about noon and comes out. I asked him if he got plenty of sleep and he said he had. I asked if he was relaxed and rested enough to go for a tryout with the Chandler RedSox. A smile came across his face only for a second then an expression of slight fear hit him. The realization that this is really happening hit him and I asked him if he was up for this? He said, “Yes, but what if I don’t do good?” I told him that I know he’ll do fine. If he goes out and does what he does, he’ll be fine. His face turned to the big smile again. So we headed down to Mesa for this quick tryout. We met Matt at his offices where he has a hitting and pitching cage in the back. It’s really a nice setup. We talked for a bit as he and Tyler played catch warming up. Then Tyler got on the mound. He wound up and threw his first pitch. Only about 80 percent. Then another and another. Tyler was warming up and started throwing at 100 percent.
Then Matt asked him to throw his change up. The first two hit the dirt and then he started to bring them up. “Couple more fast balls”, Matt said. Tyler threw them in there hard. “Now the change up again. A little slower, softer grip.” Another pitch. “Just a little slower.” I told Tyler to really loosen up on the grip so you don’t hear the seams and he threw a change up that floated in to Matt’s glove. “There it is, Tyler. Fastball.” Ty threw a couple more fastballs then Matt said, “Ok that change up again.” Tyler nailed that change up again. He looked like a pro out there. He went out there and did what he does. Matt stood up and said, “I’ve seen enough. I want him. If you can really make this trip we would love to have Tyler join us in Utah for this tournament.”
The joy in my heart for Tyler was overwhelming. He did what he does and earned a spot on a tournament roster for a team that is a level above where he normally plays. We talked a little bit more and we are both really excited at the opportunity. Tyler didn’t really know for sure what was going on. As we were walking out, Matt was leading the way and I hear Tyler whisper, “Did I make it?” A smile crossed my face as I glanced back and nodded. I held my hand out in a low 5 manner about my waist and Tyler smacked it. He held himself together pretty good. I gave him the keys to the car so he could drop his gear off and then come back in to try on the uniform for size. He looks good in the blue UnderArmor undershirt and Red Vest.
We left and headed for the car. Once there Tyler called his mom and said, “We’re going to Utah.” I didn’t hear the conversation but Tyler said she was crying for joy for him. I could see that. It’s the same as when he won the Orioles game. She cries for joy when her kids do well. To go from being knocked out of the All Stars far too early to making a tournament team headed for the National Championships in Utah in a matter of days was unbelievable. I still have a hard time grasping that this has happened, even though I’ve already made the flight, car and hotel reservations. It’s quite unreal. So the Rebels will have to wait a few more weeks for our focus and attention.
That’s about it for now and thanks for tuning in. I’ll let you know what happens tonight and throughout our journey to Utah and back. Until next time, stay safe and enjoy life. I’ll be typing at you later.
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