Lakeside eliminated in Section 4 11-year-old tourney
The last postgame huddle broke for Lakeside Little League’s 11-year-old all-star team all of 10 minutes after being dispatched in the losers’ bracket final of the Section 4 Tournament on Tuesday night at Mahany Park.
Tears of sadness smudging the eye black following a 6-2 loss to West Sacramento? Nah. Frowns for having to turn in those green uniforms? Nah.
The players shook hands, thanked their coaches, laughed and smiled a lot, let their jerseys hang out over their dirty pants and took off for the snack bar.
“They’re 11-year-olds, and they have short, short memories,” Lakeside manager Jim Radler said.
In the end, Lakeside came up one win short of the championship game when it couldn’t quite figure out West Sac pitcher Andrew Gully, who scattered seven hits, retired nine in row during one stretch and didn’t allow a walk. Gully struck out only three, but West Sac’s defense was solid behind him.
“He executed phenomenally,” Radler said of the little right-hander. “We knew defensively their team was very solid.”
Will Nogrady scored both runs for Lakeside following a leadoff single in the top of the fourth inning and a one-out knock in the sixth. Nogrady raced home with Lakeside’s first run on a bad throw from the catcher to Gully, West Sac’s only error. Nogrady scored the second run on Jack Stinson’s groundout.
It took Gully and West Sac a whole hour and a half to end Lakeside’s postseason, but Radler saw his team grow over three weeks of games, which included a District 54 championship, and practices before that.
“I’m certainly proud of what they’ve accomplished,” he said. “They learned a lot of lessons.”
Atop the list was a roster of players that never gave up.
“There were a number of games we were down; we were way down,” Radler said. “Mentally, they’re a very strong team. They had the ability to turn it on at game time.”