COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – If Head Coach Brian Smith was looking to script a perfect start to his team’s first round game in the 13u D1 Platinum Championship Bracket, he couldn’t have come up with something much better than what transpired on Saturday morning.
Playing as the home team, Beaver Valley Red starting pitcher Daniel McIntosh struck out the first hitter of the game, and then quickly retired the next two for a one-two-three inning. From there, the offense took over as Layne Rider busted the game open with a 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 1st to give Beaver Valley Red a 4-0 lead over San Diego Hustle. Beaver Valley ended up scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning and looked to be in complete control.
After San Diego rallied to score one in the top of the second, Beaver Valley’s offense again wasted no time, pouring on four more runs to give the squad a 9-1 lead. The team was disciplined at the plate and was getting key contributions from everyone down the lineup.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Will Swisher added a solo shot to give Beaver Valley a 10-1 run, and made sure that the game was never in doubt. Beaver Valley ended up scoring 14 runs en route to its 14-4 victory and has now scored 76 runs in four games while out in Omaha. It is showcasing its prolific offense which has helped carry the team to a 36-1 record so far across all competitions this season.
“We have a good team and we’ve got a lot of guys who like to spray the ball all over the yard,” Smith said. “We like to pride ourselves on our approach, sitting fastball away. That last guy (pitcher) was throwing 75 or 76 mph, and we aren’t phased by those things. We see good competition.”
The SlumpBuster has provided that good competition, squaring up teams from other ends of the country which normally wouldn’t get the chance to play each other.
“It’s good baseball out there, anytime you are going against kids from California,” Smith said, who’s team hails from Pennsylvania. “That last kid on the mound, you saw it, he brought some cheese. That San Diego Team has good players. Their shortstop was a good player, they had a big first baseman. We saw San Diego and said, ‘let’s play our best baseball.’ That’s why we come out here. We come to Omaha to see new faces and play these kinds of teams.”
Through four games, Beaver Valley Red looks every bit of a title contender out here in the 13u division for the SlumpBuster, but they will be tested. If the team wants to make a championship run, they will have to win three games against stiff competition, while battling the heat.
“That’s something we aren’t used to,” Smith said of the heat. “The heat is a little bit of a different game. We’re going to take it day by day. I told these boys to get some rest because we have to play at 9, 11, and 1, there is no break in there. We have the arms, and we feel like we are well rested. We have a good group of guys, and we are ready to play some good baseball. We expect to be champions, that’s why we come out here. That’s what the program is about.”