Little League: Kingman 9-11 All Stars drop tough one to Mohave Valley
KINGMAN – Everyone has a bad day from time to time and the best thing to do is simply turn the page. Kingman will surely stick to that advice after it suffered a 22-3 setback against Mohave Valley Thursday night during the 9-11 All Stars Tournament at Southside Park.
“At this age, you can’t let them dwell on the past,” said Kingman manager DJ Dunn. “You have to look forward. If you look behind, you’re never going to get better. Look forward, get aggressive and play the game the way these boys know how. They’ll be just fine.”
It didn’t appear early on that Kingman would end up in this situation, trailing by only three runs after two innings.
However, the third frame wasn’t kind to Kingman.
Mohave Valley sent 15 batters to the plate and nine crossed home plate. Kingman was down 14-2 entering the bottom of the third but couldn’t rally back and saw its deficit increase to 22-2 before tacking on a run in the bottom of the fourth.
“They just have to shake this one off,” Dunn said. “They didn’t play their best – they need to shake it off and go get them on Saturday.”
Kingman just couldn’t find its rhythm on offense – mustering three hits and striking out seven times.
And as far as pitching went, Kingman’s downfall was base on balls as four pitchers combined to walk 16 Mohave Valley batters and allow two free passes on hit by pitches.
Nevertheless, Dunn focused on telling his young squad that this game didn’t matter. And he’s right, Kingman is still alive in this double elimination tournament.
“Hopefully they’re able to let this go,” Dunn said. “I know a lot of people – a lot of kids and a lot of adults – dwell on things like this. If they can go out and do something other than baseball for a day. These kids have been working hard for weeks and weeks. Some of these kids went to Tournament of Champions down in Blythe – they’re burned out a little bit. Maybe a day away from the field will do them some good.”
Kingman’s next opponent is to be determined, but it will be at 8 p.m. Saturday on Field 4. While Kingman could have faced rival Kingman North with a win Thursday, Dunn knows there is still potential for his team to see that familiar foe later in the tournament.
“Of course you always want to see a Kingman team at the end,” Dunn said. “They have a good group of kids over there and we wish (Kingman North) all the best. It doesn’t matter if we play them first or last – it really doesn’t. We hope the best for them, (but) we have to focus on what we have to do on Saturday.”