By Adam Burns
LA VISTA, Neb. — Decked in his hot pink jersey with flowers, black pants and long pink socks, Alexis Monasterio grinned ear to ear.
All he could do was smile. And laugh. And smile some more.
No, it wasn’t because of the attire his 13U OTB Flamingos wears with pride. Rather, Monasterio was thrilled with the fact that he had just mashed his second homer of the first session of the Omaha SlumpBuster.
“It felt really good,” said Monasterio, a man of a little words. He is, however, a man of great power with a bat in his hands.
Clinging to a two-run lead, Monasterio drilled a 2-0 pitch well over the left-field fence for a 3-run home run in the sixth inning, which ultimately provided the final tallies for the Flamingos in an 11-6 victory over Elite Baseball Friday morning at the La Vista Sports Complex.
“I wanted to drive in the runs so we could win the game,” Monasterio said of his mindset.
As soon as Monasterio hit it, he knew he had his third on the summer season and promptly skipped and provided a bat flip to the delight of his teammates. His coach also knew it was gone immediately.
“No,” coach Drew Shelton said when asked if there was ever any doubt in Monasterio’s homer. “No, I think I said ‘see ya’ before he even swung, so yeah, it was gone. No doubt in my mind.”
Elite Baseball, based out of Illinois, put immediate pressure on the Flamingos with two runs in the first, but the Oklahoma squad responded with a 6-spot in the second inning, which included a Monasterio RBI single to center field, Bryson Francis plating two on an error and a pair of RBI singles.
“I told the guys to find a little energy in that inning and they found it,” coach Shelton said.
Elite Baseball knotted the score at 6-all with a 3-run fifth, but the Flamingos plated five in the sixth, including Monasterio’s game-changing blast.
The Flamingos (3-2), first-time SlumpBuster participants which also beat Utah Hustle 8-4 earlier in the day, return to action Saturday at 10:15 a.m. against Millard United in D1 Gold Championship Bracket play.
“Pitching has to be there tomorrow,” coach Shelton said. “We’ve had too many walks, especially with limited arms right now.”
“We take the mindset of playing anyone, anytime and anywhere,” he added. “We see a lot of good teams in Oklahoma, Texas, so it’s great to come up here and play different teams from Southern California and Utah—guys we wouldn’t see anywhere else.”