Comeback kids have honorable exitPublished 12:05am Saturday, July 19, 2014
The Suffolk Youth Athletic Association 11U Bronco All-Star team that made thrilling comebacks a routine concluded its run when it went 1-2 in PONY Baseball’s recent 2014 East Zone South Region Bronco-11 Tournament.
But the team’s play in the Huntersville, N.C., event still included highlights that recalled its great successes during the course of the all-star season.
“This was a great experience for the kids, and they hated to see the season end because they wanted to keep playing,” SYAA 11U manager Lance Cleghorn stated in an email.
In the first game of the tourney against West Raleigh 11U, he stated his “boys came out a little tight and nervous and gave up eight runs in the first inning and then had to battle back.”
They scored two in the second, one in the third and eight in the fourth for an 11-8 lead. Then, they fell behind by one, tied the game at 12 in the fifth and held on, but ultimately lost 13-12 in the seventh.
“Other than the first inning, we played very well and our pitching and hitting were outstanding,” Cleghorn stated, as Aidan Gay and Johnny Gray spent time on the mound. “Joseph (Frole), Aidan, Nate (Varnier) and Darius (Surrett) all had multiple hits.”
The SYAA team next faced Mallard Creek and jumped out to an early lead, only to see its opponent crawl back into it and take a 12-8 lead going into the seventh and final inning.
“As this team seems to always like to play from behind and have a dramatic comeback, they decided to do it again by scoring seven runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead 15-12,” Cleghorn stated. “Johnny then only faced four batters in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.”
Showing the Suffolk team’s depth, a variety of different players contributed the offense in this contest. Nick Cleghorn went 4-for-5, Zane Wise and Rylan Riddick each went 2-for-2 and Logan Earley had two hits, including a double.
Frole produced another standout game with a double and a triple.
The final game of the SYAA 11U Bronco All-Star team’s season came against the host Huntersville team, resulting in a 5-4 Suffolk loss.
“This game was a pitching duel and Darius and Travis (Williams) did an outstanding job of confusing the Huntersville batters,” Lance Cleghorn stated. “This was probably our best game defensively, as well.”
Though Suffolk only scored four runs, the manager noted his team hit the ball quite well, and just happened to hit balls right at the Huntersville defense most of the day.
Adding to his impressive pitching, Williams went 3-for-4 at the plate.
“This is a great group of kids and a dedicated group of parents that are very supportive of the team,” Cleghorn stated.
Though the players will be parted from the game they love for a few weeks, Cleghorn stated they would soon return to action for fall ball.