June 9, 2012
It was not the prettiest weekend for Street Kids Mojo as they traveled south to the Indianapolis Sports Park for the NSA B/C NIT.
They came in having won the last four tournaments in a row, but this weekend, it would not be one of their best for sure. SKS opened against Floors Unlimited, a very talented team who normally plays SKS well, and in this game it was no different. The Kids struggled on defense early and often, and like good teams do, Floors took advantage. Three times SKS had a chance to end this game - once by a 15-run rule, but they let them back in; another time by the 10-run rule, but Floors came back and finally in the seventh, when SKS led by four, Floors took advantage of bad defense and tied the game. It would go to the bottom of the seventh when Jeremy Hochstetler would hit a walk off two run homer to win it, 22-20.
Despite the win, the Kids were not happy with the way they played. They advanced to the next round against Silvertown, a team they beat earlier this year. Silvertown got up early, and at one point led 12-1, but the Kids began to chip away. The problem in this game was after Silvertown hit their three home runs in the third inning, they only managed one more run the rest of the way. But the Kids could not take advantage of plenty of opportunities and also continued to play bad defense, something they normally do not do. The Kids would end up falling in this one, 18-13. Silvertown played well, and most importantly, they held SKS at bay at the plate.
SKS would drop to the losers bracket and play Cedar Creek. This was another game that did not seem that close, but the score would prove otherwise. Cedar hit the ball very well, and took a 14-1 lead at one point. But they also gave Street Kids plenty of chances to get back in this one, but they just could not get the big hit when they needed. Give credit to Cedar's pitcher Mark Hershberger for pitching his way out of several close jams. Cedar would win this one 24-20, and sending SKS home early for only the second time this year, and the first time in NSA play.
"It was a bad weekend, we are going to have them," said TJ Jorgensen. "We have not played that well in the last couple tourneys but it was covered up by wins. I think a loss like this opens up our eyes to what we are doing wrong, and see what we need to do to be ready to compete a little better next weekend."
Street Kids (38-7 in tournament play; 52-9 overall) will return to league ball this week before heading to Three Oaks, Michigan this weekend for the annual Flag Day Championship, where SKS is looking to win it for the third straight year.