It took the 8U Douglas County Amateur Baseball Suns and Raptors teams almost two innings to warm up to the heat of the game on May 23 at Youth Sports Inc., yet both teams soon found their rhythm. After jumping to an early lead in the third inning, the Raptors attacked the Suns to take the victory. The Raptors more than doubled the Suns' runs and won 14-6.
Raptors head coach Jack Tyler said it took his team the two innings to find their game-winning stride.
"We finally started hitting the ball, we were down but we came back alive," Tyler said. "We seem to turn around quickly like that."
The Raptors helped themselves to a quick turnaround with some hot bats from Matthew Hill, Gage Works and Lee Andrews. Hill smacked the ball that would send him across home plate in a spray of dirt in the fourth inning. Hill's homerun was the first of four for the Raptors.
The Raptors continued swinging into the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth inning, Braden Smith swung at the ball, sending it flying to the right outfield too quick for Suns outfielders to get a handle on before he was flying over home plate for another home run. Andrews and Seth Quick followed up Smith's home run in the sixth inning for the third and fourth Raptors homers.
Dawson Dykes also contributed a triple to assist his teammates across home plate in the sixth inning. Dykes said he was surprised by the power of his hit.
"At first I thought I'd only make it to first base," Dykes said. "I feel good about the game and good about hitting it to third."
To contend with the Raptors, the Suns brought their own heat with a few runs in the fourth inning when they hit a triple and a double to bring players across home plate. The team scored six runs before the fourth inning was over.
Coach Tyler said the Suns' presence on the field put the pressure on the Raptors, by challenging their fielding and pitching.
"In this game we didn't play as good of defense as we usually play, but we played good enough to win," Tyler said. "I feel like our guys are coming around and we are getting better every game."
The Raptors showed their improvement by holding the Suns to six runs and ending the game victorious.
Coach Tyler said the Raptors might be playing a few tournaments to increase their knowledge of baseball skills before the season is out, but he said the team's main focus is making it to the very top of the league.
"We are looking to win first place in the league," Tyler said. "That is our only goal. We want to have a good showing at the end of the season tournament for the whole league."