The 11U Tigers-Ingram showed poise by finishing strong against some tough competition in the USSSA 12U AAA Beat The Heat tournament hosted at the Celina Baseball Complex in Celina Texas. In pool play the Tigers split, winning their opener 7-1 against the 12U Dallas Patriots-Blue on the strong arm of Cole Solomon who threw 3 hitless innings. William Adair notched the save coming in to get the final out of the 6th with bases loaded.
Game two faced the Tigers against a much bigger and stronger 12U Dallas Patriots-Red team who used power hitting and the long ball to subdue the Tigers pitching. The Tiger bats awoke too late even with their own homer off the bat of Ty Manning in the bottom of the 4th. It still wasn’t enough coming up short 10-5.
Bracket play on Sunday found the Tigers in a struggle against the 12U Southlake Dragons-Green. Jake Whitbeck managed to hold the Dragons bats at bay tied 2-2 through 5 innings along with a web gem catch in right by Cole Solomon. The Tigers took advantage of their home team at bat in the bottom of the 6th on a bases loaded ground ball error at third to steal the win 3-2.
Next they would meet their familiar foe, the other lone 11U team #1 seed McKinney Marshals, in what always proves to be a well played tough game. This one didn’t disappoint. The Marshals took a 2-0 lead into the 4th when the Tigers bats came alive. Four hits including doubles by Manning and Brandon Earnest pushed the Tigers ahead 4-2 and they never looked back winning 6-4. Jared Martin threw 4 solid innings for the win and Lance Russell completed the final two for the save.
The Championship game brought the Tigers face to face again with the power hitting 12U Dallas Patriots-Red. The Patriots also were armed with a big hard throwing lefty who the Tigers never really could get the barrel on. They did seem to break through in the bottom of the 6th with what appeared to be line drive hits to right and center but heads up plays by the shallow outfield threw both out at first and preserved the Patriots lead for their championship win, 3-1. Syler Shepherd threw 5 strong innings giving up one double on only four hits. It was a tough loss for the Tigers but they showed a lot of fight against a much more mature team with likely several players to have just turned 13.