By VAN HOLLAND
PINETOPS – Northern Nash pitching was just to strong for SouthWest Thursday night and they had a dynamic offense to go right along with the pitching. Northern Nash blanked SouthWest 15-0 in five innings in Nash County 15-under Babe Ruth League.
SouthWest finishes the regular season winless, but their season didn't come without effort. They have a team that the majority of the players are 13-years old playing against other teams with players who are 15.
"The score alone speaks for itself, but as far as the effort in each game we have played this year has been a challenge" SouthWest coach Lee Gold said. "We have a lot of 13-year old players playing against these older players, but they don't give up."
Gold was impressed once again Thursday when his team got down early, but didn't give in to the older Northern Nash team. His players continued to fight on defense to make the routine plays and also at the plate facing much older competition and faster pitching then they are accustomed too.
"It is hard to coach or even teach heart and desire and that is something everyone of these kids have," Gold said. "I'm proud of everyone of these young men for giving me the effort they gave game in and game out."
Gold hopes his players take the experience from this season and uses it as a learning tool for next year as they continue to learn the game and become better players.
SouthWest got just one hit, which came off the bat of Garrett Killebrew in the fourth inning. That was the only base runner SouthWest had the entire game.
Defensively, SouthWest committed three errors.
Northern Nash pounded out 14 hits and as a team they had 14 RBIs. Their top five hitters produced 11 of the RBIs and 11 of the hits.
Austin Webb took the loss for SouthWest, but it wasn't for a bad outing. He threw strikes and had command of his pitches during his 3 1/3 innings of work. Northern Nash just found the gaps to hit the ball. He walked just two batters and struck out one and gave up 11 hits and 13 runs.
"Austin had a great performance for us," Gold said. "He is the type of pitcher that isn't going to be over powering, but he is going to throw strikes and hit his spots. He does a good job of keeping batters of balance. He is one of the younger kids that is going to be a good pitcher when he gets older."
Nathan Taylor came into to relieve Webb and gave up two runs on three hits and had a walk in 1 2/3 innings.
Gold believes every player on his team has gotten better. He hopes that his players will use this season as a stepping stone for next season no matter what level they try out for. He said he believes since they have seen this type of baseball this summer, they see now where they need to be when they get to this level and at this age.
"The ones who will play middle school again next year this is a plus for them," Gold said. "They will be able to definitely further their game."
Gold believes it was just a good overall experience for all of his team. He said they all had fun this season and learned about baseball, but the main thing was he said they all had fun.
SouthWest now waits to see who they play in the league tournament and find out when their game will be.