Saturday, July 23, 2005

State Tournament in Bay Minette

We head to south Alabama for a weekend of baseball
in the midst
of a record heat wave,
and meet a real survivor.

After being delayed two weeks because of Hurricane Dennis, the State 9-10 yr Little League Tournament finally got off the ground on Satuday, July 23rd. The Huntsville Nationals team traveled down together on the day before so they could get acclimated and get settled into the hotel,...which meant swimming in the pool of course!

The next day the boys practiced, rested, and then headed to Bay Minette for the opening ceremonies. Our first game was a thriller. The team from Phenix City came out of the gate with 3 runs in the first inning, but we rallied back and took the lead in the second. Each team scored runs in the subsequent innings, but somehow our boys held onto a one run lead heading into the fifth inning. And that's when the wheels fell off,...the PC boys had a breakout inning, scoring a total of twelve runs, and effectively putting the game out of reach. We lost 18-8.

The loss put us in the Loser's bracket, which actually worked in our favor, since we didn't have to play again until Monday evening. That left Sunday available for hitting the beach! On the way back from Gulf Shores we hit Lamberts resaurant, best known for the way the servers throw rolls to people. It was a great day of fun.

Monday night we faced Opp, the other team to lose the first night. Scouting reports gave us a good chance to win, but Opp pulled out to a quick 6-0 lead. A short rain delay gave our boys time to regroup, and they came out rallying to pull within one run in the 4th inning. Things started to unravel in the fifth inning though, and our boys gave up 8 straight runs. It ended at 14-5.

The loss was emotional, but by the time we got back to the hotel, the boys had forgotten all about it. They were much more interested in the pizza party at the hotel pool! Karen, Philip and I picked up the pizza on the way back from Bay Minette, and while we were at the Domino's we bumped into a guy named James who was going to start working there the next day. Turns out he was one of the guys on CBS's Survivor Palau!

He chatted with us for a bit and we got our picture with him. Turns out he was voted off the island ninth, and then spent three weeks in Austrailia while the remainder of the filming took place. Quite a coincidence running into him!

All-in-all, it was a great weekend of fun. And of course football is right around the corner!

Friday, July 8, 2005

Baseball All-Stars

Philip's All-Star Baseball Team
Wins 2005 District 8 Championship

The McGucken Park "National League" 9-10 year-olds
win the right to go to the State Tournament.

Though the regular season was once again somewhat disappointing, Philip's selection to the All Star team paved the way for another GREAT summer of baseball! Coming into the tournament as the underdogs to three other teams made up of mostly travel team players, the National League All Stars blasted their way through the competition in fine style. They had to play 6 games to make it happen, including an extra game when the Loser's bracket champs beat them, but they bounced back in a BIG way in the chamionship game!

Tournament Results:

* Game 1-National beats Lakewood 23-3
* Game 2-National beats Civic 6-5
* Game 3-National beats Patriot 10-7
* Game 4-National beats American 12-9
* Game 5-National loses to American 9-11
* Final - National beats American 25-7

The victory brought with it all sorts of benefits (like embroidered bat bags!), but it also threw our remaining summer plans into a tizzy. Philip and Adam's first "Hau56 Camp" was scheduled for the same week as the State Tournament. It was to be a biggy because it's the only year that Gerrit, as a rising Senior, would be a counselor at one of Philip's camps.

We started working out plans for dropping the boys off at camp on our way back from the tournament, but they'd have to lose in order to have any time at camp, and that didn't sound like a great solution. Ultimately it was Dennis that solved the problem for us,...Hurricane Dennis that is. When Dennis' landfall was predicted to coincide with opening ceremonies down near Mobile, the state tournament officials decided to postpone the tourney, leaving Philip and Adam free to go to camp after all!

Amazing how things work out.