With the NYO Spring 2021 Season in the books and fresh off (another) championship, Head Coach Allen Lumpkin geared up his newly deputized Young Guns for a tournament Memorial Day weekend out at Barnett Park. Fellow coaches Robb Dillon, Craig Kirkland, and Scott Peters drilled the boys and got them ready to play. And now, with the fields open, the tents and coolers packed, and the smell of BBQ in the air, the Young Guns headed out.
Saturday was an exciting day, but a bit disappointing. Ryan Dillon, Fiver Cowgill, and Davis Carroll lead the hit parade, but the team ended with a tie and loss. The coaches were optimistic, though, and Coach Lumpkin assured us to pack well for the next day. Sunday, he predicted, would be a long day.
The morning arose, parents raised their weary heads, and the regulators mounted up again. A bracket game matchup against the Hopewell Colts loomed. Southpaw Cy Amos started the game out strong with 2 shutout innings, while Haden McKelvey (2 hits, 3 RBIs) and Christian Peters (3 hits, 3 RBIs) knocked in runs and Ryan “hot bat” Dillon (3 runs) and Charlie Sessions (2 runs) scampered home. The game was tight, and headed to extra innings. Both teams scored in the first extra inning, and things seemed bleak in the 2nd extra when a Hopewell run scored and was followed by laser beam into the left field corner that seemed destined to end the day for our NYO boys. But that is when Haden McKelvey got on his iron horse and made a highlight reel running catch in left to preserve just a one run deficit. After that the Young Guns came back to tie and the stage was set for a Christian Peters walk-off rip into right field, Young Guns prevailed, 11-10!
Next up were the Ocee Black, who just a day earlier had thumped the Guns, 8-2. With the Bon Jovi bumping, this time, the bats would not be silenced. Charlie Sessions and Lucas Rosenbloom added two hits a piece, and Davis Carroll (3 RBIs) and Leon Amos (2 RBIs) drove home the runs. The defense was also on display, with outfielders Jackson Lumpkin, Leon Amos, and Charlie Sessions putting away several fly balls, and Cy Amos doing his best Sterling Shepherd impression, making two circus running over-the-shoulder catches. The infield also flashed the leather. Sawyer Saporito was a wall at 2B, Christian Peters snagged two rockets at the hot corner, and Lucas Rosenbloom made outs all over the IF. Ryan Dillon and Fiver Cowgill were rock steady behind the plate, and the pitching was led by Owen Kirkland, who silenced the Ocee Black bats with 2 shutout innings. Still this game was destined for two extra innings also, but with the help of some late inning clutch pitching by Charlie Sessions, the Young Guns won, 9-7. On to the final!
The final featured a rematch with the Eastside Hurricanes. Owen Kirkland again drove the team with 2 strong innings on the mound, but this game was, of course, headed for some late inning magic. Down 1 in the top of the 6th, the boys were down to perhaps their final inning. But clutch ABs were coming! Jackson Lumpkin led the inning off with a line drive ripped into centerfield, and Leon Amos did the exact same. Fiver Cowgill then stepped to the plate and sent a line drive into the left field gap to deliver both runners home and take the lead. Lucas Rosenbloom drove in Fiver to give some breathing room, and then just 3 outs remained. Christian Peters came in to pitch and shut the door, and when Sawyer Saporito cradled the final grounder and threw to first, the 10U Young Guns were champs! All that was left to do was dump a large cooler of water over coach Allen Lumpkin’s head, which the boys did gleefully! A long day indeed, but a successful one.
They didn’t draw first, but they drew first blood. They are NYO’s sons. Call them Young Guns.