OGRCC Thunder Red are golden

The Old Greenwich Riverside Community Center U-9 Thunder Red travel baseball team dominated the Salesian High School postseason tournament this past Sunday night, going undefeated against some of the highest ranked teams in the region.

Both the bats and pitching were on full display as Thunder Red produced 51 hits over the four-day tourney. The team scored 42 runs throughout the tournament, while holding the opposition to only 14.

This kind of lopsided tournament result was part of a larger game plan that started back in January.

The Thunder U-9 system was blessed with 75 players competing to make one of 26 slots within two U-9 teams. Both the Red and Blue teams were designed from the start as parity teams. That blending of talent meant that not one of the two teams were superior, as both had an even amount of talent of the roster. Not surprisingly the two teams were 2-2 in their games against each other.

The challenge then for the coaches was that, in most towns where Thunder plays, there is a clear top squad and play one or the other league.

The Thunder Red coaching staff met in the winter at the Cos Cobber to make their determination, which was that the Red team would compete in the “A” league, to build the players’ baseball experience by playing the best the region had to offer.

“It was a big decision and we knew we would have to manage a lot of disappointemt,” head coach Traver Hutchins said. “It’s more fun to win than lose, but we had a plan in mind. We had to put a focus on making it fun. During the week, we had them go to batting cages so they could catch up to the faster pitches. This summer they caught up to it and you saw the payoff. We thought it was better for their long-term interest.”

Seeing fastballs that are clocked at over 50 miles per hour, cutters and curve balls for the first time, the Thunder Red had a predictably slow start to their season. However, they were developing into a contender.

By the back half of the summer, Thunder Red got used to the pitches seen in the top leages and started to dish it it out themselves. Thunder Red finished by winning its last five games to build to a 11-12-1 season and to also become the runaway winner of their post-season tourney, beating the Bronx Chester Little League team 7-3 in the championship game.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress