Thursday, August 21, 2003

Little League World Series

A thrilling victory by the local team from Saugus, MA over Lamar National of Texas in tonight's semifinal match of the Little League World Series (baseball). The box score is amazing:
                                1 2 3 4 5 6 7   R  H E
US Southwest - Lamar National 0 2 0 1 1 6 3 13 13 2
US New England - Saugus Amer. 2 2 6 0 0 0 4 14 12 4
Reading this carefully, you'll see that New England was up by eight runs going into the fourth inning. It was over. I was already cueing up the DVD for the evening. But then Texas chips away, until they score four runs with two outs in the final inning, to tie the score (in the Little League World Series, teams play only six innings). In extra innings, Texas put up three runs. But New England was able to put up four runs in the home-half of the inning to take the win.

The actual baseball was quite good. These kids are a slower and smaller version of pro baseball. However, I did see a handful of dropped fly-balls (considered a blooper in the majors), a badly judged throw to home plate (a fielders choice that should have been an easy out to first), and a player get caught in a pickle, but the fielders couldn't get the out.

The coaches exhortations to the players were broadcast over the air: "I don't want you feeling pressure. Just swing easy!" "Hey, that play is in the past now. Just concentrate on this out." Aren't professional managers saying the same thing?

It was a great game. These kids played hard. Neither team gave in; one team just ended up scoring more runs.

Congratulations Saugus! They'll play for the U.S. Championship on Saturday.

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