Lunenburg Machine Pitch takes second in district
Published 10:30 am Thursday, June 30, 2016
The Lunenburg Instructional Machine Pitch All-Star baseball team started strong in the Dixie Youth District V Instructional All-Star Tournament over the weekend but ended up falling in the championship game on Sunday at the Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association’s Field of Dreams complex.
Despite not winning, Lunenburg advances to the Dixie Youth Instructional AA State Tournament in Appomattox.
The team entered Sunday with a 2-0 record, needing one more win in the three-team district tournament to win the title.
But after defeating the PEFYA All-Stars on Friday, Lunenburg struggled in the rematch on Sunday, falling 13-3. PEFYA had to win again to secure the title and did so with an 8-6 final score.
“We did good the first two games, and then today we came out a little flat,” Lunenburg Manager Derrick Hall said on Sunday. “We didn’t really play very well today at all. Hats off to Prince Edward-Farmville — they came out ready to play today, and we didn’t, and we ended up 2-2.”
In the second game on Sunday, PEFYA jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first inning.
“We had kind of preached to the kids we needed to come out and have a big first inning, and we didn’t, they did, and that kind of got us down, and we never recovered from that, really,” Hall said.
The deficit grew to 7-1, but then Lunenburg began climbing back in the fifth inning, making it 7-4. The team appeared to have piled on a couple more runs, but they did not count because interference by a base runner prevented a PEFYA player from fielding the ball.
When a defender is fielding a ball, “it’s basically his field at that point, and you’ve got to avoid him, and we ran right into him, got us an unfortunate out when we had a little bit of a rally going,” Hall said. “That ended that inning.”
Setting up its appearance in the championship game, Lunenburg defeated the Crewe-Burkeville All-Stars 11-1 on Saturday. On Friday, it created a big lead over PEFYA and then held off a rally for a 12-11 victory.
“About gave me a heart attack there for a minute, but (PEFYA) got some good hits,” Hall said on Friday. “They were hitting the ball well that one inning where they scored a bunch of runs and came back on us, and then the last inning, we came out and played probably our best defensive inning of the whole game. So, thankfully we held on to that one-run lead.”
Lunenburg certainly commanded the respect of PEFYA Manager Jamie Davis.
“Lunenburg’s a tremendous team,” Davis said after Sunday’s games. “I remember it for many, many years that they’ve always had a history of winning both in the youth association as well as in high school. I know their coach has to be very proud of them. They’ve played a great tournament, and they’ll be a really tough team for anybody in the state tournament to play.”
Lunenburg will begin play in the state tournament on July 15 in Appomattox.