Little League: Kingman North’s bats go quiet in loss to Mohave Valley
KINGMAN – When the offense is not producing runs, it is very difficult to win games – especially in Little League. Kingman North experienced that issue Friday and it proved costly in an 11-3 loss to Mohave Valley in the 9-11 All Stars Tournament at Southside Park.
“The kids just have to find a spark,” said Kingman North manager Mike Collins. “They have to find their energy. They came out flat tonight. They played good defense, but they couldn’t find their energy behind the bats.”
Kingman North did tally nine hits in the game, but they were spread out across six innings. Cooper Cronk led the way with a 2-for-3 performance, highlighted by a RBI single in the third. Cain Massey added two hits and a run scored, while Matthew Thomas went 2-for-3 with a double.
But that offense was far from enough as three Kingman North pitchers combined to issue 10 walks. Mohave Valley didn’t waste those opportunities either, scoring most of their runs on Kingman North’s miscues.
“Walks definitely hurt us – that’s something we have to get better at,” Collins said. “Ultimately at the end of the day we just couldn’t get our bats going. We played good defense, but we couldn’t get our bats going.”
The defense especially shined during the fourth inning as Kingman North pitcher Codey Padilla worked a perfect 1-2-3 inning behind stellar plays from the infield. Padilla also did his part, striking out four batters in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
“We pulled him out early to try and save him,” Collins said of Padilla. “All of our pitchers we save. We have some good throwers. Ironically, my starter dislocated his ring finger at about 1:30 (Friday). So we had to pull him out earlier than we wanted to. But we still have some pitchers and most of them will be back available Monday or Tuesday.”
But in order to get that far, Kingman North first has to take care of business in the consolation bracket.
With a win Saturday night, Kingman North would battle the winner of Kingman-Laughlin at 5:30 p.m. Monday on Field 3. The potential matchup with a familiar foe is something Collins would enjoy.
“I would love to see Kingman South,” Collins said. “DJ (Dunn) has done a good job coaching his team over there. We would love to have that opportunity. We wish them the best of luck and we’ll focus on driving forward.”