KINGMAN – Adam Thomason wanted to make sure his team was ready for the opening round of the Minors (8-10) Tournament of Champions.
The Kingman South Little League manager talked to his squad about dealing with nerves and they proved that the spotlight wasn’t an issue – cruising to a 15-5 win over Kingman North Monday night at Ed Parry Park in Needles, California.
“I was really shocked – it didn’t seem to faze them a bit,” Thomason said of the big stage. “They seemed to really step up their game a little bit more.”
Kingman South didn’t waste any time either – never looking back after jumping out to a 10-0 lead after two innings.
Josh Flummer, Emelio Rascon and Kane Thomason each hit a home run, but it was the battery of Cody Schoppmann and Flummer that made the difference.
“Cody Schoppmann was lights out,” Thomason said. “I believe I have the best catcher in this whole tournament in Josh Flummer. They really carried us.”
But Thomason was quick to say the rest of the team shined on defense as well and it was probably the best game he’s seen them play all year.
“We’ve been practicing hard and preaching hard work all year,” Thomason said. “It was all them. The way they played Monday – I really didn’t have to do a whole lot of work. They got the job done.”
In the other dugout, Kingman North saw its season come to an end after finishing the regular season at 9-3-1.
“That’s tough – it is another Kingman team and you love to support them,” Thomason said. “It would be nice to play them in the championship, but getting them early means at least we get one team into the second round.”
Kingman South’s next opponent was originally Mohave Valley, but a new bracket was created after Parker dropped out of the tournament. Kingman South faces Lake Havasu at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thomason knows it'll be a battle.
“Lake Havasu usually puts together a solid baseball team,” Thomason said. “So I’m expecting it to be a dog fight.”