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Lethbridge Herald - News Article About Semi-Final Game
All Updates Courtesy of Bobby T and MC
MC and her co-hort Bobby
T are back with their
Blackberry's in hand to give us on-site updates from
Nationals in Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday Aug. 12th
ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS...
Gallery IV - Bronze Medal Game - NDG Lynx vs
Medicine Hat, AB
The Bronze medal game (vs Medicine Hat) was called because of
rain ...so the kids decided to take things into their own hands
and determine the winner by
'rock, paper scissors'!
Medicine Hat won the 'rock, paper, scissors' and Montreal was
ahead by two runs on the board when the rain came down, so it
all evens out.
Thought you would enjoy these last photos...taken in the
rain, but clearly
shows that the Little League spirit is alive and well in
Medicine Hat and Montreal!
Players and Coaches of both the
NDG Junior Lynx & Medicine Hat, AB Teams
Was a great tournament.
It's about 7:30 am as I write this...and it looks like the
schedule for today's games has been revised. We heard that they
were concerned about thunderstorms
hitting Lethbridge later today...so it looks like they have
moved the championship game up to be the first
game (@ 11am). Weather permitting, we would then play in the
bronze medal game at 2pm. The tournament website also shows
that these games will take place at Lloyd Nolan Yard, instead of
Spitz Stadium (perhaps the field is in better shape there).
I'm not 100% sure that they are set up to do the
webcast/gamecast at the secondary field--please check the
tournament website for any updates on this.
The boys attended the Lethbridge Baseball Awards Dinner last
night. Former Expos pitching ace Steve Rogers (for those too
young to remember, you can Google his name and read about 1981!)
was the guest speaker. A good time was had by all.
We'd all be much more excited getting ready for the final game
vs. Ontario this morning (a team that we have beaten this
summer)...but we put ourselves in a hole early in the tournament
which made our 'path' to the final much more difficult. Still,
this had been an amazing experience for all of us.
We'll try to send some intraday updates via blackberry if
Wednesday Aug. 11th
- NDG Lynx
(Game Box Score)
I'm sure everyone knows the final result by now. I can tell you
that the final score is not an accurate indication of the way
the game unfolded. For the 4th straight game, the Lynx got
another great pitching performance, this time from Laurent
Dupuis-Solliec. The game was very tight (4-3 BC after 4
complete). We then gave up 5 runs in the top of the 5th, giving
BC a 9-3 lead. I'm sure most people in attendance assumed that
we would collapse and quit. Amazingly, we came back with 6 in
the bottom of the 5th to tie the game at 9-9. At this point,
Laurent had reached his pitch-count maximum and the ball was
handed to Yannick, who gave us another courageous pitching
performance. After that, Liam took the mound, with the intent
to keep him at 20 or under pitches. Liam gave way to Brandon
with a 3-0 count and the bases loaded, which is a pretty
difficult mandate to give any pitcher! BC then scored a pile of
runs to take a 19-9 lead. We scored a pair in the bottom of the
7th to make it 19-11, which was the final score.
You guys may not want to hear this, but...The chief umpire came
up to me near the end and said how impressed he was with our
kids, how they play the game, how the kids are coached, etc.
etc. I said this at our team BBQ: We did not want to come here
to win "Miss Congeniality"--we came here to win some ballgames
and be a threat to win the whole thing--but it is still very
gratifying to get that feedback from the umps, the organizers
and the parents from the other teams. We should all be VERY
proud of them!
We still have the bronze medal game tomorrow (looks like it will
be against Prairies who just lost to Ontario). The kids are
understandably down right now. We have the awards night banquet
tonight with Steve Rogers as the guest speaker (former Expos
pitcher). And then we're back on the field tomorrow at 1pm.
That all for now, Bobby T.
Message from MC
Hi all! 9:20 Lethbridge
They have been fed, given CLEAN uniforms, brand new sox (thanks
Lionel), safely delivered to the park..and even won the coin
So guys, all you have to do in Montreal is CHEER FOR THE HOME
Arrives for Semi-Final
Tarp Being Removed from Field - It
Rained Last Night
James here to explain what happened last night with regards to
After all of last nights games this is where we stand. The first place (BC) and second
place (Prairies) teams were established with 4 -1 records and
the last place team (Maritimes) was established with a 1 - 4
record. The issue was determining the third, fourth, and fifth
place teams when three (Ontario, Lethbridge, & Quebec) teams had
identical 2 - 3 records. The tie breaking rules indicate that
when two or more teams are tied, if one team has beaten all the
other teams, that team moves up in the standings. Since Ontario
had beaten both Quebec and Lethbridge, Ontario moved into third
That left both Lethbridge and Quebec still tied for fourth place.
Using the same tie breaking rule, called head-to-head, Quebec
moved into fourth place because it had beaten Lethbridge in the
Note: Both BC and the Prairies had identical 4 -1 records
however using the tie breaking head-to-head rule, BC beat the
Prairies during round-robin play and moved ahead of them in the
||4 - 1
||4 - 1
||2 - 3
||2 - 3
||2 - 3
||1 - 4
Bobby Gives Last Nights Game Summary
Even though our game finished earlier today,
I deferred writing this e-mail update until
we knew precisely who made the 'medal
round'...and we just received official
confirmation that we finished in 4th place.
By virtue of various tiebreakers (too
complicated to explain here!), we are now in
the first semi-final game tomorrow
(Wednesday) vs. BC at 10:30am at Spitz
Stadium. After going 0-5 at last year's
Nationals, our goals this year were first to
WIN a game...and then qualify for the
semi-final round: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!
Our boys are not intimidated by this matchup--in
fact, we played them very tough this morning
and had a very good chance to win the game.
Here's a quick game summary:
They say that good hitting is 'contagious'.
After our last 3 games, I'd say that good
pitching is just as contagious! Like his
teammates Alexis, Sami and Eric, Rafael
Zapata answered the call this morning with a
gutsy pitching performance. He mixed his
pitches so well and was around the plate all
game. His 90 pitches took us into the 5th
inning which is beyond what we had hoped
for. Unfortunately, Rafi was a victim of
the home plate ump 'squeezing the strike
zone' on his last batter...which would have
ended a BC rally. A few errors and some
shaky relief pitching allowed BC to score 4
runs in the 5th. I don't even have to tell
you the boys did NOT give up. We added
another run in the 6th (so did BC) for a 9-5
final. It was very important to keep their
run total down,as 'runs against' can be an
important tiebreaker in these tournaments
(it's a little sad that giving up 9 runs is
considered to be a relatively low run total
this year!). Yannick Leblanc did a great
job in relief, inducing a BC hitter to fly
out to centre to end one threat, and
inducing a nice 4-3 double-play by Jake
Titleman to end another threat. Eric, Liam,
Rafi and Laurent had key hits during the
game. As soon as the game ended, the
scoreboard watching had begun...
Ontario's late night
victory over the Host eliminated Lethbridge
(along with Sydney Mines) and put us
officially into the semis. That is all we
could ask for...a chance to control our own
destiny and play a game with a shot at
making the finals.
As I write this, all 'room checks' are
completed...we hope the boys are hitting the
sack early to recharge their batteries. We
are fortunate to have some key pitchers
available for tommorow, including Laurent,
Liam, Yannick and Brandon.
There is some rain in the forecast, so there
is the possibility of changes to the
schedule. I assume these will be posted on
the tournament website if necessary.
That's all for now...keep cheering the Lynx
on--we can hear you!!!
P.S.: It was great to see Andre Dawson and
Gary Carter in Expos uniforms in Washington
tonight--hopefully a good omen for us!!
Tuesday Aug. 10th
Lynx Win 11 - 8
Junior Lynx Now 2 - 2
(Game Box Score)
As I write this, it is 12:05 am our time, 2:05 am Montreal
time. We just got back to the hotel...after having watched one
of the most exciting amateur baseball games I have ever seen!
Yesterday at this time, the coaches/parents were trying to tell
the boys that we were NOT out of the tournament--even though our
record was 0-2. We weren't sure that they believed us...but now
we KNOW they did! Only 24 hours later, our record sits at 2-2
after a spectacular double-header sweep!!
After Alexis' outstanding pitching performance this morning, the
boys were so pumped to follow it up tonight. The coaches handed
the ball to Sami with instructions to 'pitch as long as he could
pitch' (ie: we were not going to take him out early for
pitch-count reasons). And Sami proceeded to deliver one of the
'clutchest' performances we have seen. He was all over the
plate, mixing his curveball and fastball, keeping the hitters
off balance all night. But that's not even the best part!! In
the top of the 4th, Sami came to the plate with the bases
loaded. After taking 2 strikes, Sami fouled off a nasty
curveball that may have been strike 3. On the next pitch, Sami
crushed a fastball way over the left-centre
field wall for a GRAND SLAM!! Our bench erupted and mobbed Sami
at home plate--what an awesome sight!
In the bottom half of the fourth, some shoddy defense let the
Host team back into the game--they tied it up at 6-6. At this
point, we could either 'pack it in' or show character...and we
showed CHARACTER with a Capital "C". We immediately came back
with 3 runs in the top of the 5th to pull ahead 9-6. And more
importantly, we were able 'put up zeros' in the 5th & 6th
innings. How did we put up those zeros? After Sami's
outstanding pitching performance, the coaches handed the ball to
Eric Punski. Eric proceeded to throw 2 shutout innings, after
having pitched sparingly all year. The kid is a 'soldier' who
doesn't know the meaning of 'quit'!
The Lethbridge team made it interesting, scoring 2 in the bottom
of the 7th. Final Score: 11-8 NDG Lynx/Team Quebec!!
I want everyone to know that it's difficult for me to remember
all the details of each game...so I may not mention each of your
kids in every e-mail. But trust me when I say this: Every kid
is contributing something...a sac bunt, a clutch pinch hit,
hustling down the line, warming up our pitchers, coaching 1st
base, etc., etc. This team is now all about "WE" instead of
"ME"...and it is a pleasure to watch!!
Our next game is tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11am local time vs. BC,
who were probably the pre-tournament favourites. A victory will
guarantee us a spot in the semi-final round on Wednesday. We
even could make it in with a loss, if we do not give up alot of
runs (runs allowed is an important 'tiebreaker' if teams are
tied at 2-3). We'll know more after our game tomorrow..and I'll
send an update then.
Sleep tight...this is starting to get really exciting!!!!
Monday Aug. 9th
FINALLY!!!!!!!! My first WIN at the Nationals!!!!!
(Game Box Score)
I was beginning to think that I was the 'bad-luck charm', but
Alexis Vargas put that theory to rest right at the outset. He
pitched an absolute 'jewel' of a game. We demolished the
Maritimes 14-2, with mercy rule kicking in in the 5th inning.
Alexis had a great curveball working today, to go along with his
fastball. He kept the hitters off balance the entire game. He
even started a 1-6-3 double play on a 2-hopper back to the
mound. Alexis was just FANTASTIC!!
See Game Photo
And his effort rubbed off on our hitters: Eric was on base a
lot, Liam smashed a double and triple, Jalen continued to hit,
Sami had a HUGE 2-run single at a key time in the game, Yannick
laid down a great bunt which turned into a base-hit, etc., etc.
I apologize if I forget anyone else's contribution, but it was a
complete team effort. The key now is to harness this momentum
and carry it into our second game today vs. the Host team (Lethbridge).
Our game is scheduled to start around 8pm our time. We are back
at Spitz stadium, so the webcast and gamecast should be working
again. We NEED to win tonight to get back into this
tournament! It looks like Sami will be the starter tonight,
with Brandon and others coming out of the bullpen (hope we don't
The boys continue to show class, lots of heart, and they pull
for each other big-time! A real credit to our
organization...The long-time NDG Baseball execs and staff would
be very proud!
I'll try to write update # 2 tonight after the game--could be
GO LYNX GO!!!
Game Summary Lynx
(Game Box Score)
This game can best be summarized by the Subject line above: "one bad inning"! The Lynx got off to solid start, taking a 3-0 lead after 2 innings behind some
clutch hitting AND an excellent pitching performance by Laurent Dupuis-Solliec. We were held scoreless in the top of the 3rd, and then the wheels started to
come off! Again, because of the aforementioned pitch-count rules (new this year), Laurent was removed as he approached an important pitch-count 'threshhold'
(ie: at 50 pitches). It's frustrating to make moves in a game, not just based on their performance right now, but also to preserve their ability to pitch in a day
or two--but that's the way it is for all teams this year!
Unfortunately, some inconsistent pitching and sloppy defense led to Medicine Hat scoring 8 runs in the bottom of the 3rd...and that changed the whole tone of the
game. Sami, Jalen & Rafi then did a very admirable job of holding Medicine Hat to 3 runs over the balance of the game. We scored single runs in the 4th, 5th, 6th
& 7th to get back in the game, and were one 'big' hit from really getting back into it! Final score: 11-7 for Medicine Hat.
I will say this: Up until the last out, our boys battled hard and did not give up. Our dugout was as vocal and upbeat in the top of the 7th as they were in the 1st.
It was really nice to see..Of course, we didn't come here to win 'Miss Congeniality"--we came here to win some ball games!!!
Schedule Changes: Today is double-header day...and the organizers finally figured out there was NO CHANCE of getting 6 games in on ONE field today. So our first
game vs. Martimes has been moved to 12:00 noon, and will be played at another field (local college field in Lethbridge). I highly doubt this secondary field will be
set-up for webcast or gamecast, so MC and I will try to send some in-game updates to our mailing list. Our 2nd game is still scheduled for 8:30pm vs. Lethbridge back
at Spitz Stadium, but it's unlikely to start on time. So YES, this may be a very long day for the kids and the coaches! Winning both games would make this much more
tolerable. And be prepared...virtually the entire roster may be needed to pitch at some point today!
That's it for now. Here's hoping my next update brings our tournament record to 2-2! Wish us luck,
Sunday Aug. 8th
Tough 15-14 Loss to
Ontario in Game One
(Game Box Score)
I'm apologizing in advance for this brief e-mail. To review today's game (into tonight!) in great detail would be too painful for me..and for you, especially those
who kept track online. The only positive that can be taken from a 15-14 loss is that WE scored 14 runs off some pretty good Ontario pitching. Of course, we did
not follow that up with stellar pitching and defence! But one game does not dictate an entire tournament. The challenge now is for the boys to bounce back
strong tomorrow vs. Medicine Hat (Prairies) at 3:30pm.
The new Little League pitch count rules are creating huge delays in every game, as the pitchers are changed very often in order to limit their number of pitches.
It completely ruins the 'natural flow' of a baseball game. That being said, it affects ALL teams equally, and we will have to adjust. Game highlights included Sami
pitching very effectively on the mound, and Eric, Alex and Sasha delivering some clutch hits. Unfortunately, we were not able to keep our leads and Ontario was
able to climb all the way back into the game...and they eventually prevailed. Raf, MC and I were drinking Maalox to combat the heartburn!
Heard the Major Lynx had a heartbreaking loss today as well. Perhaps both Lynx teams got their 'painful' losses out of the way early in their respective tourneys!!
Later, Bobby T.
Saturday Aug. 7th
Guillermo Makes His
Well it's 5:30 in the morning and I can smell them cutting the grass as I write this...
We are all settling in. I am driving my 13 growing boys around in a shiny new HUGE Tahoe; big cushy soft leather
seats and electronic everything. Life is good... I live in constant fear that I will be required to paralleldouble park the thing at
some point this week. Liam seems to share my appreciation for this vehicle. I have a feeling I know what his first paycheck
will be spent on. Oh yeah, Baseball...Well that got off to a great start last night too. We were all pretty tired upon arrival,
but one look at this ball park was all it took to get the juices flowing again. After checking in at the hotel, it was back
to the field for the BBQ, team warms ups and then and Skills competition (infield relay, pitching, base running and home
As the competition was going on, there was an enormous crane putting up a fancy new scoreboard at the end of the field. This, by the way, is no average
scoreboard. Everyone was flipping there heads back and forth between this Cadillac of all scoreboards and the kids on the field...and then "BOOM"..doesn't
Guillermo hit a home run and dent the thing. Regardless of what we do this week, we can now honestly say the boys have made their mark in Lethbridge.
A few tense seconds later, the competition continues..If memory serves, I think we were hovering around 3rd or 4th place as they headed into the final phase
(home runs), at which point Liam and Guillermo (with Raf Sr. at the mound) did their stuff and clinched the overall win!
So...assuming we do not get hit with a repair bill, we are off to a great start!
Soon the sun will be up and Bobby and I will turn from drivers into chief cooks and bottle washers (sadly, I mean that in the most literal sense).
They have changed today's game to 3:30 and it looks like they might even have the webcast up and running too.
The coaches? Yes, we brought them to Lethbridge too and they seem to be fine so far.
Check in later...
Bobby T's Detailed
Skills Competition Summary
So here's the quick summary of last night:
We had a great BBQ at the field (Spitz Stadium), which as MC mentioned, is an incredible venue for the tournament. It is like a AAA minor league field with
seating for 3,000 people, a new scoreboard (more on that later!), and a newly-sodded field.
After dinner, we all went right into the skills competition, which had 4 events: Infield relay; throwing accuracy; running bases relay; hitting contest. We finished
first in the Infield Relay, with Jan hitting solid ground balls and the boys (Larry, Raf, Jake & Brandon) making all the plays. Sami & Sasha did a great job in the
throwing event finishing 3rd. We finished a surprising 5th in the running relay (with Eric, Alexis, Yannick & Jalen)...perhaps something wrong with their stopwatch!
That left us in 3rd place overall heading to the hitting competition. It was NOT just a home-run derby; the kids get points for all their solid hits based on the
distance travelled. Liam hit first and put in a very good round, with a couple of doubles and one home-run. It was then up to Guillermo..and he delivered big-time,
with 3 SHOTS over the left field fence. One of them travelled 350 ft. over both fences and smashed into the brand-new Spitz Stadium scoreboard!! Bottom line, their
performance moved us up from 3rd to 1st overall and won our team a pizza party from Luigi's Pizza & Steakhouse (interesting combination!). That helps take
care of one dinner this week...!
Most importantly, the boys were focused and ready and delivered the goods! Hopefully a sign of what's to come today and this week...Our game vs. Ontario is
scheduleD for 3:30pm. FYI...there is a change in the schedule for Monday's double-header. Our first game is 1:00pm and the 2nd game is at 8:30pm (much better
than the 8:00am game!).
That's all for now...waiting for the boys to come down for breakfast. MC's blender and frozen fruit are ready...
Friday Aug. 6th
Teams Arrive &
HI Everyone! We have arrived!! Flight landed on time and then it was a 2 1/2 hour ride
(along with the BC team) to Spitz Stadium. Wow, what a spot...a REAL stadium. Seeing it in the flesh really
makes the reality of all this sink in. They are dying to get on it and do their thing. Until then though, it is a
BBQ tonight at 5, followed by the Skills competition at 7. A bit of good news; they have managed to change our
game times on Monday so that our first game is a 1pm instead of 8am. A giant Thank You to James for that one.
Will keep you posted as things progress...
NDG Wins Skills
- NDG Junior Lynx win the infield relay race -
- Guillermo Lastra-Romero and Liam Wyatt just each hit TWO homers for NDG to win the home run derby!!! -
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