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Tidewater Tigers finish season strong

Last year, the Tidewater Tigers set out on their first season of playing USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) baseball and it was a learning experience, maybe even more of one than head coach Robert Tew would’ve wanted.

“Last year I think we won five games all year. So this has been a big step up,” Tew said.

Within the last few weeks, the Tigers, a 10-and-under team with players from Suffolk, Chesapeake, Smithfield and Gates County, N.C., have topped last season’s number of wins within two tournaments.

The Tigers won the USSSA Top Gun State Open championship on June 19-20 in Newport News with a 3-1 record.

The following week, the Tigers finished second and with a 4-1 record in the USSSA Top Gun State AA division tournament in Newport News.

USSSA baseball is similar to AAU competitions or tournaments or ASA clubs in the softball world. Teams travel many weekends during long seasons playing against good competition.

The 2010 season for the Tigers was already better than the previous campaign, but with a 10-15-1 record going into the Top Gun State Open, finishing the season with two great tournaments and some serious trophies was a surprising reward for lots of hard work.

“Our team has been blessed with a great group of boys and great family support,” Tew said.

In the Top Gun State Open, the Tigers opened on Saturday with an 18-3 win over the Virginia Bulldogs and an 8-7 win over the Peninsula Pirates.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs answered with a 4-2 win, but the Tigers came back in a must-win game and did just that with a 13-6 victory over the Pirates to win the double round robin.

The next weekend, the Tigers mastered pulling out close contests. In pool play, the Tigers beat the Virginia Thunder 10-8, the Virginia Beach Hurricanes 14-12 and the Virginia Crush 8-6.

The Tigers moved through the semifinals with a 10-1 win over the Hurricanes, but lost 10-2 to the Virginia Venom in the championship game.

“We are looking forward to even bigger and brighter things for our team in the upcoming seasons,” Tew said.

The Tigers are looking to add two roster spots and the team will be holding tryouts at some time in the next couple weeks. The team practices at Hillpoint Elementary School. More information can be found at www.tidewatertigers.org.