The Delwood 10U All Stars had a magical run this summer that fell one out short of continuing on to the Zone round of the PONY World Series held outside of Houston.
The season got off to a mixed start at the Sectionals Tournament in Hays. The Delwood 10U All Stars won their first game against the Pflugerville 10U All Stars 17-2. But, that was followed by back to back losses to the Hutto 10U All Stars (2-6) and Hays 10U All Stars (12-13) eliminating Delwood from Sectionals. But, the win against Pflugerville was just enough for Delwood to squeak into the final spot advancing to the next round, the Region Tournament in Hutto.
Delwood went into Region as the sixth seed out of six teams. In the first game of the double elimination tournament, Delwood had a tough outing and lost again to Hays, this time 4-21.
But, the kids bounced back the next day, showing a ton of heart and resilience in an elimination game against Taylor. Delwood jumped out to a 4-2 lead after the first inning, and battled to stop a Taylor rally in the bottom of the last inning, eliminatingTaylor from the tournament with a 11-9 victory.
That win set up a rematch against Hays for a spot in the tournament semifinals. In a back and forth contest, going into the bottom of the last inning, Delwood was down two as they came up to bat. Delwood scrambled for a run and then got the game tying runner to third with two outs. Delwood then hit the ball to the Hays shortstop, who made a good play, but the Delwood player hustled down the first baseline, putting pressure on the first baseman, who couldn't come up with the catch. On the hit, the game tying run scored from third. During the next at bat, Delwood stole second and then third. With the count full, the game winning runner was one base away. Hays threw ball four, and the pitch got away from the catcher. As the batter ran to first, Delwood stole home to walk off the victory, advancing to the semi finals and eliminating Hays in their third match up of the All-Star season.
In the semifinal, Delwood had another rematch, this time against Hutto. Delwood started the game well, scoring three in the top of the first and getting Hutto out three up three down in the bottom. Delwood continued their rally in the top of the second, scoring another run and loading the bases with no outs when the umpires postponed the game until the next day due to lightning. When the game restarted the following day, Delwood added five more runs in the top of the second to go up 9-0. But, Hutto stormed back, and going into the bottom of the last inning, Delwood held a slim two-run lead when Hutto came to bat. After a strikeout, Hutto then got a couple runners on at second and third with one out. Hutto got a hit to center field. The runner at third scored, and the runner on second decided to test Delwood, running home to try to score the tying run. But, Delwood's centerfielder made a great play on the ball, and hit the cutoff perfectly. Then Delwood's shortstop made a great throw to the catcher, who caught the ball and applied the tag just as Hutto's potential tying runner slid into home. Two outs, one-run lead. The winner of this game would advance to the finals, and to the Zone Tournament in Deer Park, one step from the PONY World Series in Louisiana.
The next batter got a hit, and advanced to third. After four days of baseball, Delwood needed one more out. The next batter hit the ball to the shortstop, who fielded it cleanly, and made a good throw across the diamond to first. The first baseman caught it, but was pulled slightly off the bag. The umpire first signaled out, but then changed his call to safe, meaning the runner on third scored, tying the game. Delwood tried to battle back, but the next hitter got a double, scoring the winning run, and ending Delwood's season.
While the end of the season felt disappointing, the effort and attitude of the 10U All-Stars was incredible, and they achieved an amazing level of success. They also made a lot of Delwood fans along the way (the San Marcos 10U All Stars, who were the #1 seed and won the Region Tournament, cheered for us just as loud as Delwood's fans in both the Hays and Hutto games). The kids unquestionably had a great time, created incredible relationships and memories they will have the rest of their lives, and learned a lot about overcoming adversity, working and playing hard for each other, and how to be a good teammate in wins and losses.
Without a doubt, the 2022 10U All Stars represented Delwood incredibly well both on and off the field. And, they logged another outstanding chapter in Delwood's nearly 70-year history.
We are so proud of those kids, and we know the best is yet to come!