By Savvy Rafkin
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – When a national tournament shows up in your backyard, there’s no choice but to play in it.
Or so says 14u Prodigy Easton Hunt coach Brad Hunt.
“We make this an annual event,” Hunt said about the Sparkler Juniors tournament, part of Triple Crown’s Colorado 4th of July event. “There’s no reason why we should miss this with it being in our backyard. We talk about it every year how lucky we are to have a tournament this large in Colorado.”
Taking the field for the first contest in pool play on Tuesday night against Batbusters Sommerville 07, Hunt was pleased with how the team performed on the way to a 12-6 victory at Rolland Moore Park.
Despite the first game jitters, Prodigy (Colorado Springs) jumped on the Batbusters (Hilmar, CA) early in the game that went four innings. In the first inning, the Batbusters put up one lone run to Prodigy’s three.
“We went in here kinda nervous to be honest,” Prodigy player Cayla Baker said. “It’s a big tournament and all these out-of-state teams and whatnot. There’s so many teams and this is against a team we’ve never played before and it’s pretty crazy.”
In the second inning, Hunt’s team made their final pull away on the scoreboard with two outs, leaving the team leading 9-1.
After Prodigy’s big inning, the game came down to who had more offensive momentum.
Rising to the challenge, the Batbusters rallied and closed to within 9-3, starting a dogfight until the bottom of the fourth inning when Prodigy finally walked away with the win.
Even though this was only the first game of pool play, Hunt and his team are excited to see how things continue to progress. With an offensive display as strong as the one Tuesday night, both coaches and players are hopeful their success in the tournament will continue.
“I think as long as we keep the energy up and we’re talking and playing how we normally play and just having fun and if we’re ahead and not playing down to our competition, that’s how we’re going to win,” Baker said.
Prodigy Easton Hunt dropped their final game Tuesday to the Indiana Magic Gold 07 Smith team, 11-1.