"Go Geneva!" - "Geneva White! Woo-Whooo!" - "C'mon, let's go! Get it done!"
That's just a little taste of what was heard from down the 3rd base line. Parents were loud. The kids were loud. Everyone was jumping, screaming, and cheering. Everyone got excited. I for one thought we were going to have a good tournament when the game started and I noticed all the players up on the fence and cheering each other on. I have yet, throughout the entire season seen the kids so energized and loud. It was a good representation of how the kids felt. And how much they were into the game. They came ready to play. Every single one of them was ready and it showed.
In the first game vs. DC Lightning our kids started out hot. The bats were alive. It seemed like almost everyone got a hit through the first two innings. Our defense, for the most part, shut down the Lightning. While at the same time our offense was getting around the bases and racking up the runs. Heading into the 4th inning it started to look like we would have an early exit by way of the slaughter rule. But it was not meant to be. Our bats slowed a bit and the defense let the Lightning score a few runs to somewhat get back into the contest. Even though we gave the Lightning some hope that they would turn the game in their favor, the Vikings held onto their lead through to the end. Taking an 11-5 victory into the next game later that evening.
This brings us to game 2 vs. the Oswego Cobras. The Vikings started the game off a bit slow giving the Cobras a quick 1-0 lead. Heading into the 3rd and 4th inning the Vikings started showing some life. Going into the 5th inning we snuck up on the Cobras as the bottom of our order had some quality at bats that gave us some base runners. With runners in scoring position G. Bragg cleared the bases with a huge timely triple followed by another base clearing double by Z. Pronenko. We then finished strong as our defense held the Cobras to that single run they had gotten early in the game. Everybody contributed. From runners getting thrown out stealing and trying to score on "The Wall" behind the plate. To very solid closing pitching by "G-Dog" and great footwork and awareness by "Nowinski", we got the job done and finished with a final of 4-1.
This takes us into the championship game today (Sunday). If the same team shows up today, I feel sorry for our opponent. Because our kids have shown us that when their on their game, there has not been a team that has been able to beat us. However, as we have seen time and again, our kids like many kids are temperamental. We have our good games and bad. But then again - we have some of the best coaches in the league. Their work with our kids cannot go unacknowledged. They have always been a driving force in keeping our kids in the game, keeping their heads up and showing them what good sportsmanship is all about. We are the only team that I have seen anyway, that is reminded every game to shake the umpires hand after the game. This attitude and coaching of baseball knowledge translates directly into each and every kid on our team becoming solid ballplayers and taking this foundation into their future years. Whether that includes baseball or not, this team of kids will always remember this season as a season they grew as ballplayers. And no matter what happens later this afternoon, the Geneva Vikings will always be winners!