The tournament-tough 11UAA Jays once again showed their heart and determination in Niagara Falls last weekend on the way to their second consecutive tournament victory.
Due to illness, the Jays showed up to the tournament with just 10 players, but managed to record a decisive victory on Friday night.  Overnight, several players became ill, but the Jays still earned another decisive victory Saturday morning, before facing a strong St. Catherine’s team that they lost to in the OBAs last season.  After a sluggish start and with energy fading, the Jays rallied in later innings to avenge last year’s loss and clinch a spot in Sunday’s semi-finals against the hometown Niagara Falls Falcons.
Overnight, several more Jays fell ill and there were concerns about whether we would be able to field a team.  Once the game started, the players’ competitive nature shone through and their bats came alive to score a 15-12 victory and move on to face the North York Blues in the final.
Between games, energy levels faded quickly.  Several players were on their last legs and experiencing tough symptoms and also battling injuries.  With a limited number of pitchers left to use, it appeared that a forfeit was imminent as one of the remaining pitchers could barely move.  Four runs in the opening inning and a strong starting pitching performance allowed us to stay in the game early.  Players rested by lying down between innings. Some players were too tired to swing and merely stood at the plate, accepting a walk or strikeout, whichever came first.  One player took a ball in the hand and couldn’t throw for the remainder of the game.  But all kept playing and doing whatever they could to help the team.  With a 2 run lead heading into the 5th inning of a 7 inning game, the Jays turned to one of their best pitchers, who shut the Blues down, allowing 1 earned run over the final 2.2 innings to seal the unlikely victory.
It’s hard to fairly describe the adversity these Jays battled on this weekend, and regardless of the final outcome, they truly amazed the parent group and coaches and showed the fortitude, resilience and spirit not often seen at any age, let alone 11 year olds.  It is a weekend that will be remembered for years to come, with lessons learned that will serve the young men well in the future, on and off the field.
Go Jays!

1 Comment

  1. bydbmqnj on March 4, 2024 at 5:58 am

    11UAA Jays – Niagara Falls Champions! – Aurora King Baseball Association

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