Fall ball: the return of baseball

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So we’re playing “fall ball” – Alex is signed up for Gopher State baseball. He’ll be playing double-headers on Sundays in September and October, with a team made up of the first 5 batters from the Ironpigs, 6 guys from the Express, and a friend of one of the players from the Express.

Yes, we made a team from the two best teams in the A league. We’re the “Iron Express” and we’re signed up for the “competitive” level of play in Gopher State. We’re playing in a 14U league – all of our guys will be 14 as of May 2013, so we’re in the 14-and-under class.

Alex turned 14 today, in fact, and we had our first practice. The boys looked good, making strong throws and fielding well both in the infield and the outfield. We got a chance to scrimmage against a team of 15-year-olds who were practicing on the adjacent field. Each of us provided our own pitcher when we were batting, so we had an appropriate level of pitching – it would have been no fun for our guys to pitch against the 15-year olds, since most of our team is still 13, and two years makes a big difference. We did well, giving up just one run on a passed ball and only one hit. We can’t really claim too much credit for all the strikeouts, though, since the guy pitching to the other team was actually on that team. He had a wicked fastball, though.

We have a lot of coaches; in addition to me and Craig from the Ironpigs, we have Jeremy and Chris, who had coached in MAA previously but did not coach for the Express, as well as several of the other dads who are helping out on the field. It was interesting talking to Jeremy and Chris; I learned that the Express catchers were not giving signs, and that the coaches were not calling the baserunning game. Since those were a big part of our success, we’re going to keep doing those things

Practice again tomorrow; we’re going to work on baserunning, running through first base on a single and the run-down. That should be fun. I’m in charge tomorrow, with Jeremy and Craig both off at the coaches’ clinic for Gopher State. Wish me luck.

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