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‘A great experience for the players’

The Lunenburg County Youth Baseball League (LCYBL) Machine Pitch all-star team finished as runners-up in the 2019 Dixie Youth Baseball Machine Pitch State Tournament after a 10-1 loss to the Dinwiddie National All-Stars on July 9 in Victoria.

“We had played good defense all tournament until the final game, and we made some errors we usually did not make that allowed them extra runs,” LCYBL Machine Pitch Manager Brian Nowlin said. “The team kept battling hard throughout the game but couldn’t break through on offense as their shortstop make the majority of the outs and had no errors.”

The coach made a point to highlight the whole team for its effort all summer.

“In this game we did not play as well as we had previously, but Blake Overby, Reed Nowlin, Logan Reese, Christopher Walker, Vaden Liles and Samuel Long had hits in the game, while Colt Camp, Anthony Elliott, Reed Hite, Colton Neal, Bryan Long and Landon Parker had good defensive plays,” he said. “Reed Nowlin ended up winning the Virginia State Tournament batting title for the tournament after hitting over .750.”

The LCYBL All-Stars finished with a 2-2 record in the state tournament. Because they hosted the event, they automatically had a berth in it and were not a part of district competition that the other teams had to advance through to reach the state level.

“I think the team performed well overall,” Manager Nowlin said. “I know having seen them in practices and scrimmages that we did not hit as a team as well as I know we were capable of, but we had several players hit well, and we had some good defensive plays as well. I think that not playing in the district tournament can sometimes be tougher on a team because you do not get that real live game experience early on like most of the teams that you are playing. However it is great for a league to host a state tournament and is a great experience for the players. One thing I am proud of is that even with all the days of practice, the players all said that they would miss coming out for practice and being there with their teammates. Anytime kids enjoy practicing and being there with their teammates it is a good thing.”

This team, which featured three players from last year’s district and state title-winning squad, will look quite different next year as all but one player from this year will move up to the Minor League age level.