The Sidewinders bettered their record to 3-3 on May 22 with a victory against the Eudora Cardinals. In this 12U match-up at Youth Sports Inc., the Sidewinders won 11-6.
The starting pitcher and lead-off hitter for the Sidewinders, set the tone of the game early. His first at bat was a base hit. He stole second and third base and later scored the first run of the game. This helped set the tone for his teammates with his hot hand and stellar pitching.
"This was our best all-around game this year," Sidewinders coach Brian Pickel said. He said the children played well at the point in the season. Many contributing factors including good pitching, fielding and hits helped the Sidewinders secure a victory.
In the first inning the Sidewinders took a 3-0 lead thanks to wild pitches from the opposing team, and several stolen bases helped the scoring effort. All three players who scored for the Sidewinders stole at least one base on their way to home plate. The team was one batter shy of making it through their whole batting order before the end of the first inning.
In the second and third inning the Sidewinders continued their stealing ways with each player taking at least one base on their way to crossing home plate. In the second inning the Sidewinders took a 5-0 lead. Along with the hot bats, the Sidewinder defense stepped up, not allowing any runs in the first three innings.
On the other hand, the Eudora Cardinals could not seem to capitalize on any hits or walks early in the game. Their defense and offense struggled, and the team looked as if it could not get into a rhythm. Finally in the fourth inning, the team seemed to be getting comfortable on the field. A pitching change helped the Cardinals allow only one run in the last innings of the game. Also in the fourth inning, the Cardinals scored their first run, bringing the score to 10-1. Even with the pitching change and a run on the board, the game seemed far out of reach at the start of the fifth inning.
The Cardinals didn't think they were out of it. In the bottom of the fifth inning. A hitter for the Eudora Cardinals stepped up to the plate as parents yelled, "See the ball, hit the ball." He hit a two-run homerun to better the score to 10-3. He gave the Cardinals the spark that they needed to try to get back in the game. Another Cardinal scored in the fifth inning to bring the score to 10-4. The game didn't seem so far out of reach for the Cardinals, but it was too little, too late because the two-hour rule came into play, ending the game with the Sidewinders on top by five runs.
Pickel said his team played a great all-around game but there was more to this league than just winning and losing such as the children having fun and teaching them the fundamentals of baseball.
"I have these kids until they go to high school," he said. "Next year, we'll be a little bit more competitive."