Babe Ruth 14’s open up against Livingston
By Sparta Live | July 8, 2011 12:00 am
Editor’s note: The 14’s opened with a 13-3 win over Livingston Thursday behind the complete game performance of Tyler Brock on the mound. Sparta takes on Cookeville Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Sparta’s 14-year old Babe Ruth All Star team will swing into action Thursday against Livingston at Parkview Field in Cookeville.
In order to achieve success on the diamond, the 14-year old All Stars are going to have to rely on all facets of their game. They are not going to dominate one particular aspect of the game, but will have to put it all together and use a total team effort.
Manager Ken Temple had this to say about his team, “In order for us to win this tournament, our boys will have to show up ready to take it from every team. We have all the tools offensively and defensively to beat any of them, but nothing about this tournament will be easy and we can’t take anything for granted. Most of these boys have been playing non-stop since February of 2010 for either a school team, travel team or Babe Ruth summer and fall ball, so Jason (Cloyd) and I have agreed not to drill them to death in practices. We just want to work on our weak points. The bottom line we learned from last year is that there’s not time to ease our way through this tournament. We have to attack the ball and just play smart from the start of game one until the end of the tournament. We can’t afford to take anyone lightly.”
As far as his bullpen, Temple will probably rely on three main starters and then fill spots with others during the games.
“Our pitching is not real deep, but deep enough to give us the edge provided they get the required support on the field to pull it off. The seven-inning limit for the weekend per pitcher will hurt considering we could play four maybe five games. We have to have command on the ball to hit locations and stay focused. Starters Tyler Brock and Ian Temple led the league in ERA and strikeouts among the 14’s. Then there’s Darin Cole, who is very hat right now on the mound coming off several high profile travel tournaments where he performed well above average. Cole would have probably had similar numbers, if not better than Ian and Tyler, if he had the same amount of starts, but the opportunity was not there for him.”
Brock and Temple both had ERA’s of less than 3.00. Brock had 27 strikeouts during the season and Temple finished with 26.
Temple then went on to talk about the rest of his defense.
“Our middle infield is looking good with Cole and Brock switching it out at shortstop and Colton Hudgens on second. Ian Temple and Auston Glenn will share the corners. I am really going to push Ty Cloyd behind the plate this year to bring out the best he’s got. He showed serious potential during the regular season throwing out 12 from behind the plate in just 10 games. I think our outfield is strong, too. We’re going with the fastest legs we have, along with good gloves in all three spots.”
With all that having been said, to win games a team has to find a way to put runs on the board. Temple will be looking for his entire line-up to produce and help manufacture runs.
A win in Thursday’s game would match Sparta’s 14’s up against host team, Cookeville, on Friday at 7:30. Cookeville looks to be the favorite for the tournament fielding a team that has won three straight state titles dating back to their Cal Ripken days.