No. 3 team at the World Series
Published 9:12 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018
The Lunenburg County Youth Baseball League (LCYBL) Machine Pitch All-Star team ended an epic summer with a third-place finish in the 2018 Dixie Youth Baseball AA Machine Pitch World Series, which featured the top-12 teams competing in Lumberton, North Carolina.
While representing Virginia during the event, the LCYBL boys went 3-3.
“I thought they did great,” Virginia Manager Brian Nowlin said. “We ended up finishing third out of the 12 teams, and our league is by far the smallest out of any of the ones there.”
In addition to the host team from Lumberton, the all-star teams competing in the World Series hailed from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Nowlin estimated that the other all-star teams were selected from leagues that featured 12 to 20 teams, while the LCYBL had only four.
Virginia advanced to the Final Four of the World Series after going 2-1 on Monday, the first day of double-elimination play in the tournament.
Tuesday morning, Virginia took on Florida, the only undefeated team left in the tournament, and fell narrowly, 1-0.
“We played Florida pretty much even throughout the game,” Nowlin said.
He noted the contest featured his team’s best defensive performance during the World Series.
“(Florida) hadn’t scored less than 11 runs against anyone until they played us,” he said. “And so 1-0 against them, you really can’t play much better.”
The LCYBL All-Stars opened their World Series run in pool play Saturday against Tennessee. After going 10-0 through district and state play, Lunenburg experienced its first loss of the summer against Tennessee, falling 8-7.
Later that day, Virginia rebounded to defeat the host team 13-3.
Action was rained out Sunday, and so it was Monday when Virginia began play in the championship bracket, which featured eight teams.
Lunenburg was pushed to the brink of elimination when it lost to South Carolina, the team that played Florida for the title Tuesday afternoon.
As Monday progressed, the LCYBL boys bounced back again, eliminating Texas with a 5-0 win and avenging their first loss with an 11-5 triumph over Tennessee.
“Overall, our best game was against probably Tennessee when we played them and beat them to eliminate them, just because we hit real well and we fielded well,” Nowlin said.
The Lunenburg All-Star squad finished the summer with a remarkable 13-3 overall record.
“It was a great summer,” Nowlin said. Reflecting on the World Series at multiple age levels, he added, “I got a chance to play in it when I was 12 for Lunenburg, and to be able to manage this group 30 years later is pretty amazing. And these were the two teams that have gone to the World Series from Lunenburg, and to be able to see them go that far and be able to experience it was a great thing.”
“One of the biggest things with the team was that they really did have a team-oriented goal — they wanted to win,” Nowlin continued. “It wasn’t a lot of fussing … they were just willing to do whatever we needed them to do, and they worked hard, and everybody got better from the first practice to the last practice.”