Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – The Kingman North 8-10 All Stars were down double digits Thursday night, but they weren’t out. Manager Ron Bowman knew that and he gathered his squad during the opening-round game against Blythe at Sara Park in Lake Havasu City.
“I called the kids into the dugout after the third or fourth inning and said, ‘Hey, we have a couple of choices here – we can either lay down and die or we can fight back and show them who we are,’” Bowman said. “I tell you what, I think that’s what did it because they fought back hard the rest of the way.”
Kingman North needed 10 runs in the fifth inning to avoid being run-ruled, and Bowman’s speech inspired the team. The all-stars answered the call with 11 runs to get back in the game.
Unfortunately, the rally wasn’t enough as Kingman North lost, 21-16. Bowman was still pleased with how the squad responded to his speech.
“It was a whole different team,” he said. “They fought hard. The younger kids fought hard. The older kids were being leaders. It was a fun game there at the end. I couldn’t be more proud of how they responded and stepped up and finished strong.”
The start of the contest was a lot closer than the final scored indicated as Bowman said it was a one-run game going into the third inning. However, a few miscues hurt Kingman North.
“In the third or fourth inning, we kind of fell apart,” Bowman said. “We had some throwing errors and mistakes. I think Blythe scored seven or eight runs in that inning.”
Kingman North now has to make its way through the consolation bracket and plays Needles at 7 p.m. at Sara Park.
“We still have a couple of pitchers left,” Bowman said. “That’s the big thing – having pitchers in tournaments like this when you have to play back-to-back-to-back. We’ll just throw them and do what we can.”