Kingman Little League’s D-backs lose thriller to Needles

The Kingman Little League D-backs went 1-1 at the Minors Tournament of Champions.

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The Kingman Little League D-backs went 1-1 at the Minors Tournament of Champions.

KINGMAN – The Kingman Little League squad faced what appeared to be insurmountable odds Tuesday night in the Minors Tournament of Champions. The Code 3 Carpet Cleaning Diamondbacks trailed Needles by nine runs, but kept battling before dropping a 27-22 loss at Ed Parry Park.

“It was unbelievable,” D-backs manager Paul Hardcastle said. “It was probably one of the best Little League games I’ve ever seen. Our guys were making plays that I’ve never seen them make all year.”

The D-backs trailed 13-4 in the second inning, but their offense rallied for eight runs. Though they were still down a run, the D-backs eventually jumped ahead until losing the lead in the final inning.

“Everybody on both teams were just knocking it out of the park,” Hardcastle said. “Everybody was hitting. Just a lot of really good offense. Defense was great too.”

The D-backs opened the tournament Monday with a 17-14 win against Laughlin. It wasn’t as exciting as Tuesday’s win, but the team still found a way to win.

“The game against Laughlin was slow,” Hardcastle said. “It was a slower-paced game. I think we played down a little bit, we didn’t play at our normal level. But we were still able to pull it out and we had some good hits.”

While the D-backs obviously wanted to advance to the championship game, Hardcastle was “beyond happy” with their performance.

“We just told them, ‘Looking at the first day of practice and their first game, and looking at where they’re at now and the vast improvement – it’s night and day difference. It doesn’t even look like the same group of kids.”