A TEAM Shut Out!

Tonight we shut out a very beefed up MillCreek Hawks team and beat them 5-0 to give the Hebron Angels the #1 seed in the Gwinnett Invitational Tournament.  Here we go again, the leading team into the tournament.  We have to believe in ourselves and teamates in order to win this thing.

We will have to beat the Lawrenceville Warriors one more time and then I believe we will have to beat the NG Bulldogs to win the Championship.

WE CAN, IF WE WILL!!!

Go TEAM!!

 

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June 21st, Update on Angels

Sorry it’s been so long since we posted.  We have been very busy with the tournaments and such.

For the GGBL 14u AA tournament we came in 3rd.  For the GGBL 14u AA season we came in 3rd, also.  Not bad…and definitely several steps up from last year.  We have had a great pool of players this year.

Last weekend we came in runner up for the “Boys of Summer Bash” tournament.  First time to be awarded trophies and the only time we have ever come in 2nd for a tournament or season.

This weekend we are playing in the “Hardcore Baseball Classic” tournament and we won our first game last night 7-4 against the Shaw Park Sidewinders, a team out of Marietta.  We will play again today at 5:00pm

Go Angels!!!

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Gametime….

Hey Guys… Coach Dan here.
 
Coach Eric and I had lunch together today.  Naturally, we talked alot about baseball – and each of you players.  We were kicking around some thoughts about:  “Is there anything we can do to gain an edge, or raise our game a notch?”  Here’s what we both agreed on – and really want to impress upon each of you.  The way you warm-up is generally the way you will play.  And – our warm-up is generally loose (which we like), but also undisciplined (which we don’t like).  We have tried, as your coaches, to give you guys the space to get in a comfort-zone and prepare your body and mind… your own way – with little “rules” governing how we warm-up.  Well…
We still don’t want to make a bunch of rules.  Life is full of rules – most of them are meaningless – and we don’t want to add to that list.  But… here’s what we do want.
     1) When you arrive – get in the cage and take good swings at good pitches, using a bat that will help you be ready to play.  Have fun – but be serious.  This is your opportunity to get ready to hit… really get ready.
     2)  After you hit in the cage – get a partner and throw.  Start short and end with long-toss.  You don’t need to throw curve balls, sliders, knuckle balls, fork balls, etc.  You need to throw the ball straight and accurately.  The object is to get your arm loose and ready.  Pitchers especially… if you can’t throw a straight pitch for a strike 4 out of 5 times  —  then none of your other pitches are going to matter very much.
     3)  After you throw – take time to “be still”  and focus.  Don’t horse-play and be silly.  Get your brain ready to play your butt off.  Don’t waste energy and don’t distract teammates as they get ready.
     4)  Finally… it’s not that you have to move about as a single unit… but, as much as possible – hang together.  You are a team. 
 
What we have done for the last 5 or 6 games is wait until the second or third inning to begin taking the game really seriously… and by then, sometimes – it’s too late.  Tonight, let’s start as a team before the game starts – and really and truly hit the ground running in the first inning – playing hard… holding nothing back… and playing with pride.
 
We ended the season ranked third in the division, yet I believe we are a legitimate “sleeper”.  If we play our game – starting in the first inning – we can beat anybody in either division. 
 
Tonight will be a test.  Collins Hill is a good team… in my mind – quite possibly better than Dacula.  The last time we played them, the game was over before we started.  Tonight, let’s show up believing and knowing that we belong… and that they aren’t any better or deserving than we are.  If we show-up scared or looking up to the other team as though they are awesome… then the game is over. 
 
I don’t mean this pridefully – but hear this.  Coach Jeff, Coach John, Coach Eric, and I… we are each as good or better at coaching than any other coach in the league.  We aren’t coming to the games concerned about being out coached  —  or believing that we are a step behind the opposing coaches.  Likewise – you players need to show-up with the same confidence and attitudes.  It’s not cocky to know you are good – and that you should win, because you are good.  It’s only cocky if you’re a jerk about it.
 
We are a team of 15 men.  Tonight – let’s be 15 strong men  —  willing and ready to do our very best from beginning to end, and leave the results of those efforts to speak for themselves.  If we do that – I believe we will be victorious… and that’s how I’m going to coach the game.
 
See you there.  
 
     (After you read this, call a buddy and encourage him to read it.  I would like every player to read this before the game tonight.) 

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This Win Felt Good

Great job guys.  It felt good to hit the ball and make the plays that we know how to make.  You all have done such a great job improving your game personally.  As a team we have fun.  When we get insecure we usually lose.  These characteristics are typical of losing.  Keep your good character whether you win or lose.

Nice homer Blake…you had a couple of teamates that almost joined you.  Great hitting by all of you tonight and great play in the field.  Nice win.

How did this game feel compared to the last two?  Just curious…

 

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Significant Baseball Plays

Coach Eric here,

I love the Atlanta Braves.  I have followed them since the Hank Aarron, Phil Neikro, Dale Murphy, Jerry Royster,  Bob Horner days and on to the worst to first, the 1995 World Champions and so on.  There have been a couple of plays defensively burned into my mind and here they are:

On July 25, 1992, the Braves were ahead 1-0 over the Pirates in the top of the ninth. Gary Varsho pinch-hit for Gary Redus and grounded out to Mark Lemke for the first out of the inning. Jay Bell then singled, bringing up Andy Van Slyke, who was 0-2 with a walk on the day. He clobbered one of Alejandro Pena’s offerings to deep right-center field. With the stadium in a loud murmurr, Nixon raced back to the warning track, tracking the ball. Before he got to the wall, he leapt towards it and dug his left foot into the wall, pushing himself upward. He reached just over the wall and caught the ball. The stadium erupted in cheers as Nixon landed and threw the ball back to the infield and getting congratulations from David Justice.

The Braves only run came on their only hit, a solo home run by Justice in the second inning.

So not only was Nixon’s catch one of the most exciting plays in Braves history, it also saved the game for the them.

Aug. 10, 2003: Atlanta shortstop Rafael Furcal turned his in the fifth inning against St. Louis. Furcal caught Woody Williams’ line drive, stepped on second to double Mike Matheny and tagged Orlando Palmeiro, who was running back to first.

 Unassisted triple play! Amazing!

How bout you guys?  Any plays that stand out?

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Right Off The Bat!

Peachtree Ridge    wow! – what a game… again.  This game had a lot of “drama”, but – we pulled it off.  As I’ve reflected throughout the day on this game, there are several things that come to mind.  First – great job getting off to a fast start.  We came out of the box swinging (and hitting).  It means soooo much to put up some runs right out of the gate.  I’m positive that those 4 runs in the first inning did a lot to demoralize P’tree Ridge.  And – even though we left the bases loaded, and could have scored a bunch more, they knew they were in trouble right off the bat (no pun intended).  What a shot by Blake… great 2 run homer.  I knew it was gone the second he hit it.

Second, Morgan (and Blake)… but Morgan especially – he pitched a great game.  They couldn’t sit on a pitch, because he had it all working.  Great job Morgan!!!  Third, there were some great… really great defensive plays.  By trying to list them, I’ll probably miss one – but, I’m going to mention some.  Chase made a couple incredible plays at third… one was especially “big”.  Plays like that are as good (sometimes better) than a homerun.  They take the other teams wind right out of their sails    and, it causes guys to start pressing at the plate, because they know they can’t just hit it hard    they also have to hit it in the gaps, or we’ll get it.  Travis made a couple really good catches in center.  Dallas made a great catch down the left field line.  And Michael… oh, my goodness  —–  that catch – to end the game – was definitely the most difficult catch I’ve seen made in the last several seasons.  That was a catch that a lot of “big-leaguer’s” would not have made.

Bottom-line???  You guys are a really, really good baseball TEAM… and, you are a fine group of young men.  Keep it up!  Don’t take your eye off the ball… both the literal baseball    and, the ball of life, which requires you to be men of character if you are to be true winners.  You guys are awesome!!!

 

By the way… Finish out your school year strong.  Focus    academically and behaviorally.  Take pride – the right kind of pride – in doing your best!  

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Angels Serving Others

Here are a few photos of our days working at the grocery store.  What a great experience.  Most of the guys enjoyed this very much, but would have rather been playing baseball of course!

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