Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Sports

July 9, 2012

Tournament taught lessons

JAMESTOWN — The Glasgow Athletics Program 12-Under All-Stars game this past weekend against Russell County in the Little League, Inc. District 5 Tournament was very close to being a lopsided victory for the Scotties.

But a couple of misplayed balls here, a couple of Russell County homeruns, and the momentum of the game quickly changed. Glasgow battled for six innings against the Lakers, but couldn’t hold on as Russell County beat the Scotties, 9-3.

The Lakers jumped on top early, scoring a solo run in the bottom of the first inning. But Glasgow came back on an RBI single by Ryan Jones in the second inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Russell County got a two-run homer in the third inning and the Scotties manufactured a couple of runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. Glasgow was battling to stay in the game.

But that’s when the Lakers began to pull away, spraying the ball all over the field. Russell County added another homerun and, after a couple of extra-base hits, the Scotties found themselves on the short end of a 9-3 decision.

“Playing in this tournament, I think, has been a learning experience for all of us. From the competitive side of things, we’ve been able to see where we need to get better to be able to compete with these teams,” said Mills. “I think the more kids come through the Glasgow system, the more kids get to play in something as competitive as this tournament, the better off we will be down the line. And this was the first group that played in a competitive Little League program. So, we had to start somewhere.”

Mills gave Russell County a lot of credit for the decisive victory. The Lakers were one of the better hitting teams in the tournament.

“Russell County was a really good baseball team and we knew that coming in,” said Mills. “We knew we had to have things fall right for us and we knew we were going to have to play better in this game than we had played so far in the tournament.

“And through the first three or four innings, we were right there. But we left some pitches up, they were hit hard and there were some plays in the field that we just didn’t make. But that’s just baseball. They’re 12-year-old kids and they’re not going to make every play.”

Mills told his team after the game that even though he hated to lose, he couldn’t have been prouder for the effort the team showed during the tournament.

“I told the guys after the game that I knew they were hurting, but that they were good kids and good baseball players,” said Mills. “I told them it is up to them now, it is left in their hands to decide just how good they want to be at this game.

“I thought the effort in the tournament was outstanding. A lot of times the execution wasn’t, but I thought the effort was outstanding.

“It was very hot this week, and I know it was hot for the other teams, too, but it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to come over and play in this heat and play with intensity for the entire game. I am very proud of this group of guys.”

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