An inspirational comeback

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Cumberland Youth League T-Ball All-Star team may have gone 0-2 in the recent Dixie Youth District 4 T-Ball All-Star Tournament in Scottsville, but the remarkable effort of the boys is what has made the biggest impact on their coach.

The team’s coach, Billie Mitchell, first said it was important to take into consideration the experience level of her group of 4- and 5-year-old players.

“It was their first year ever playing ball, and the second game was what really, really stood out to me,” she said.

In this game on June 25, Cumberland took on the Scottsville All-Stars, a team featuring players at the older end of T-Ball’s 4- to 7-year-old age range.

The Cumberland squad had already endured a big loss the day before to another team of older players, then Scottsville jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first inning and an 18-4 lead after the second inning.

If the Cumberland boys had given up two more runs in the top of the third inning, the game would have ended by the slaughter rule.

“The reason why I said they stood out that day is because we were losing 18-4, and they decided they didn’t want to lose to the bigger kids any more, and they came back,” Mitchell said.

The turnaround for Cumberland started on defense, as Iziah Brown executed a double play, tagging a runner going to third and then tagging second base.

“I think that’s what got them riled up and motivated,” Mitchell said. “And then there was William Johnson, who stopped a home run from happening (by) the other team.”

The Cumberland offense roared to life, scoring 14 runs to give the team 18 runs of its own.

“I’ve never seen little kids play so hard and want something so bad,” Mitchell said.

The Scottsville team managed to put together three runs in the second half of the game to win 21-18, a far cry from the blowout the game originally appeared to be.

The Cumberland boys were determined to avoid a repeat of the 18-1 loss they suffered on June 24 against the Buckingham County All-Stars.