As we awoke at 7:00AM, the boys reflected on what they needed to accomplish for the day. They made their beds and headed off to the showers and noticed some pretty gloomy skies - indicative of rainy weather.
This did not dampen the boys spirits as they headed back to the barracks for their morning meeting - where we reviewed the plan for the day. At the meeting we discussed the possibility of weather delays and the need to come out with fire every time we had the opportunity.
The boys did not go to breakfast - opting instead for energy bars and more time in the batting cages pregame.
At 11:00AM, the boys were ready to take on the Maroons National Team from Michigan. This team went 1-1 on the first day. The Clutch was the visiting team in this game and came out swinging the stick. Jack Spero led the game off with a hard single to left field and then Jordan Walczykowski hit an opposite field tank to take the lead 2-0. At the end of the first inning, the boys were up 4-0.
In the top of the 2nd, Eric Erdmann threw a scoreless frame. The Clutch went right back to work when Carter Gustafson hit a grand slam and Taylor Sutton added a solo shot. At the end of 2 innings the boys were up 10-0. Once again the Clutch had a grand opportunity to learn about respecting the game and your opponent as we shut down our offense.
In a rain soaked morning, the Clutch worked through 4 innings until the game was suspended with the Clutch up 13-3. Jordan added a second home run in the 3rd.
The boys headed back to the barracks for lunch and proceeded to play cards - blackjack turned out to be the game of the day - as each boy learned the rules and had some friendly fun competition.
Hours passed before parents checked the boys out of the village for a quick dinner before the 11:00AM game would resume.
Before heading back to the field for an 8:30PM start, the team met to once again review the importance of needing to come out with fire. After the quick meeting, the boys headed down to the cages for some batting practice to get the bats going again.
In the misty evening air, Brady Rea came on in relief and meant business striking out three batters to end the 4th. The 5th was uneventful and the score was 13-4 heading into the 6th.
In the 6th, Hard 90 hit three home runs by Eric Erdmann, Jack Spero and Carter to take a commanding 19-5 lead. With the game in hand and the opposing pitcher defeated, the Clutch learned another way to respect the opponent by playing the game with in the game and practicing a two strike pepper approach to prevent further damage.
In the home half of the 6th, a few walks allowed the Maroons to mount a small comeback; however, in the end, the Clutch won handily - 19-10.
Happy to be through the ups and downs of a rain delayed game, the Clutch headed back to the barracks for their evening meeting. At the meeting, the Clutch players reflected on what they were thankful for in the day - some of the items discussed included - going 3-0, making it through the rain delay with energy, playing cards with teammates and more home runs.
Speaking of home runs, the boys hit 7 more on the day - Carter and Jordan had two each, while Taylor, Eric and Jack contributed to the home run party.
In concluding the meeting, we discussed the importance of focusing on one game at a time - as we needed to play 3 the following day. The first game was very important as it was with a very good and undefeated CBA team from North Carolina. The boys jotted down their goals and then headed off to sleep to the sounds of some mellow music.
Established in 2005, Hard 90 Baseball has been traveling to Cooperstown each year. This is an amazing trip where players are able to truly enjoy "youth" baseball and through this process mature to get ready for high school. Hard 90 is currently forming high level teams for Cooperstown 2020 and Cooperstown 2021. Register your interest for our youth travel teams. Sign up today as spots are limited.