When the moment arrived Wednesday to fire up for a tough tournament, the Saddleback Cowboys Black (CA) felt a little watered down, truth be told.
But there was time to make things right for the team at the 11u Triple Crown World Series in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and the Cowboys figured it out on time to register an 8-2 victory over the Houston Pioneers at Ski Town South field. The Cowboys can go to 2-1 in pool play with a victory Thursday evening against the CC Bruins (CO).
A 7-0 loss to the Kansas City Dirt Dogs to start Wednesday was a mood sinker, but some conversation and the overall belief in the roster was enough to change the vibe. The Cowboys scored seven runs in the first two innings and kept the Pioneers at arm’s length after a short rain delay.
“It was a slow start, and we weren’t prepared to come out and play baseball. But ultimately, it’s 11u baseball,” said Cowboys coach Neil Santos. “Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t. I like the way they bounced back. Second game, they were able to swing the bats a little bit. We’re not where we want to be, but we are heading in the right direction.”
With batters up and down the 13-man order chipping in with good swings, the Cowboys were in good shape from the start. Holding up on his job was pitcher Wyatt Haynoian, who pitched three innings and struck out four, stranding runners on second and third in the second and giving up an unearned run in the first inning.
“We were really mad we lost that first game, and then we came back and attacked,” Haynoian said. “We played well. I don’t throw too hard, but I throw strikes, and when you throw strikes you get outs. The defense did great, and it really pumps me up when (the offense scores early). It helps us get the win.”
“Wyatt is a very calm kid, and you’re not going to get him shaken up. He’ll get out there and compete, throw strikes, and he’s very successful at what he does,” Santos said. “Wherever you put him, he’s a successful athlete, and we’re glad to have him on our team.”
Landon Stewart had two hits and two runs for the Cowboys; Chase Klingemann reached base twice and drove in a run, Jake Lavin had two hits and a run scored, and Cole Grey singled, scored and drove in a run.
“I didn’t feel good about the first game, but the second game we came back and did really well,” said leadoff hitter Tyler Covington, who hit the ball well three times, stealing two bases and scoring once. “I like getting to hit first, getting more at-bats … my approach is to watch the first pitch and be ready for the second pitch.”
For the Pioneers, Javier Rodriguez had two hits; Donny O’Brien walked, stole a base and scored in the third.