8U Hustlers Shock Lake Shore
The young 8U Hustlers did a lot of growing up on Sunday in Pasadena, MD. Trailing 10-6 entering the final inning, they displayed that “no quit” attitude that’s become a staple of Hustler baseball over the past 19 years. The Hustlers sandwiched walks to Evin Kloster, Clay Hamilton, and Cooper Bell around a double by Garrett Touchet, and singles by Tyce Munger and Kai Akins. “Garrett’s hit was huge,” noted Coach Main. “He fell behind 0-2; there’s a reason we call him G-Money.” When the inning was over, the Hustlers had an 11-10 lead and leaned on Kloster to shut the door. He did just that. Kloster got a groundout to RJ Dermady at second for the opening out. Bell then confidently caught a popup wide of third base for the second out. After a base on balls, one of Lake Shore’s better hitters walked to the plate. He had doubled and singled earlier in the game. Kloster was up for the challenge as he reached back for a little extra and struck out the hitter to end the game. “Evin is a competitor. He wants to be on the mound and you like to see that,” noted Coach Main.
Kloster actually entered with one out in the 5th after a Lake Shore double had extended the home team’s lead to 10-6. On Kloster’s first pitch, Carter Jackson made a nifty play at first snagging a line drive and doubled up the Lake Shore player at second to end the inning.
The Hustlers got off to a great start in the first inning. Kai Akins got hit by the pitch and Jackson showed why he’s one of the better players around at 8U. Jackson drilled a shot against the fence in left center for a two run home run. Kloster and Munger also singled in the inning to go with several base on balls to grab a 6-0 lead.
Cody Smith, Jackson, Dermady and Kloster handled the pitching duties and all threw well. Smith was particularly effective; he had five strikeouts in two innings of work.
Offensively, the Hustler bats were hot. Jackson, Kloster, Touchet and Munger each had two hits while Akins, Hamilton and Bell each had one. Kloster reached safely in all four of his ABs and scored two runs. Hamilton was on base three times and also scored twice.
Note: Matt Cunningham’s coaching debut was a successful one. Cunningham plays SS and pitches for Main’s 14U Hustler team and is a freshman on Linganore High School’s varsity team. “Matt gets a day off from HS baseball and ends up giving back. Looking over and seeing him coach 3B was fun for me and I know that he loves working with these 8U guys,” noted Coach Main.