It was high-scoring, closely contested and down to the wire. The Mavericks met the Cougars in a U8 DCABA game Wednesday at Youth Sports Inc. and the fans, parents and coaches were treated to a nail biter. When the dust settled it was the Mavericks who came out on top with a 12-11 victory.
Both teams came out energized and ready to play, each knowing exactly what they needed to do to beat the other.
"I just need to get my home run and all of us need to hit ball well down the lines," Mavericks player Kelvin Suddith said.
Unfortunately for Suddith, the Cougars' Kobi Buffalomeat got the jump on him with an in-the-park homer with two outs in the top of the first inning. His Cougar teammate Jamie Skala almost made the trip around the bases, albeit one at a time, but was tagged out before getting home giving the Cougars a one-run lead to start the game.
The Mavericks didn't back down and came out swinging just like Suddith said they should. After Pride Leggins and Tristan Rethman successfully got on base, pitcher Parker Tietjen clocked a deep ball for a two-run triple, taking the lead with one swing.
Players on both teams, Suddith for the Mavericks, and Guerin Frei and Patrick Scales for the Cougars, thought that their best asset as a team was batting and it certainly showed on Wednesday.
"We're really competitive as a team and are always practicing on our own in the backyard whacking balls over the fence," Scales said.
That dedication and competitiveness shone in the game on both sides of the ball as the teams battled back and fourth. Each team matched the other in runs per inning until the Mavericks stepped up to bat in the fourth and had a monster five-run inning.
With one out and the bases loaded, Tanner Liba stepped in and belted a three-run triple that opened the inning wide open. Liba scored when the next batter, Jacob Tollefson smacked an RBI double. Tollefson in turn scored when Jordan Patrick beat out a throw for a single.
The Cougars would get their revenge in the sixth inning, getting five runs of their own. The only problem was that they needed six to tie and seven to take the lead. With the seventh being the only scoreless inning, the Mavericks escaped with a 12-11 victory.
"Well it was a squeaker but we got the W and the boys played great," Mavericks coach Bill Uhler said on the team Web site.