Monday, June 13, 2016

Baseball AA Astros

This was Shane's 2nd year playing AA baseball with the Kirkland National Little League. He truly has a love and deep passion for the game of baseball. You could say it is in his DNA. Kenny managed the team for the first time in Shane's 5 year Little League career. Kenny started out being present and around the first couple years to help Shane with his anxiety issues. By his 3rd and 4th years Kenny was able to be an assistant coach as Shane didn't need quite as much 1 on 1 attention. This year manager's were needed and Kenny stepped up to take on the team. Through the chaos that a group of 12 1st-3rd graders brings, I think he was able to find joy and fun in the midst of all of that.

Many of the kids on the team were playing AA for the first time and 2 of the kids had never played baseball before. With those two aspects in play, this team grew SO much. Kenny really was able to teach them a lot of skills through the season. There were 8 teams in the AA level this year. The Astro's only lost 5 games, which were to the top two teams that consisted basically of all 2nd year AA players.

As they went into the playoffs we really had no idea how things would shuffle out. Lots of little things ended up making their playoff path very challenging. In the end though, they took on the two best teams and just about beat them both games (losing in the last at-bat to both of them). They were nail biting, adrenaline rushing, sore throat from cheering, flip-flops in your stomach kinds of games. Shane has some amazing skills as a first base man, pitcher and batting. Not to mention he can stop just about any ball behind home plate as a catcher.

I spent the majority of the baseball season keeping score and keeping track of Adalyn. I was able to catch a few pictures here and there. 

They look so calm and into the game in this picture. Don't be deceived, dug out duty was rough! Those boys have a very short attention span and spent much of their time spanking each others bottoms, dumping out water cups, or just plain making havoc.

This kid is either beaming ear to ear OR crying when he plays baseball. 
He takes each play, pitch and hit so deeply personally.

Little Father-Son pow wow while a new pitcher warms up. 

Adalyn spent baseball games running around with friends. 
She rarely had any idea what was going on with the game. 

After game wrap up. 

Shane got nailed in the lip by a foul ball when he was batting. 
He took got a little pep talk from Dad, a hug from Mom and jumped right back in to finish batting. He even got on base and made it home before he could get ice on his split swollen lip. 
No damage was done to his teeth, thank goodness!

End of the year awards. The kids had just lost a playoff game that they had fought so hard to win.

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