KINGMAN – It’s tough to win a game if a team doesn’t tally a hit.
That was the issue Thursday night for the Kingman 8-10 All Stars, as it scored its lone run on a walk in a 5-1 loss to Mohave Valley at Dick Samp Park in Lake Havasu City.
“I think the team was just nervous,” Kingman manager Paul Hardcastle said. “It seemed like everyone kind of had the jitters. … Everyone was swinging, but no one was hitting.”
Despite the offensive struggles, Kingman stayed in the contest with the help of its battery.
“Josh Flummer, our catcher, played an amazing game,” Hardcastle said. “He threw a couple of people out at second base and tagged several people out at home. He was holding us in there. He and pitcher Codey (Padilla) working together, it was amazing watching those two play.”
Kingman trailed by just one run, 2-1, after four innings, and Hardcastle credited the close game to Padilla’s success on the mound.
However, the team’s nervousness ultimately proved to be the downfall. Hardcastle knows that is expected though, especially considering it’s the first all-star team for a number of the players.
“It’s still tournament baseball, so they’re always going to have that stigma of, ‘Oh man, it’s a tournament game,’” Hardcastle said. “This is the big time. They’re always going to be a little nervous.”
That doesn’t mean Hardcastle didn’t discuss the team’s issues after the game. He brought the team together and showed them the scorebook.
“‘Look, there’s not a single hit on here. I know you guys are nervous, but just calm down and get centered and collected,’” Hardcastle said. “‘Focus on the next game.’ So hopefully tonight we won’t be as nervous.”
Kingman looks to stay alive in the tournament at 7 p.m. when it plays Parker at Dick Samp Field.
“We let them know, ‘Our game (tonight) is make-or-break. If we don’t win it, we’re out of the tournament and we go home,’” Hardcastle said. “If we do win, we keep going. I told them that we can’t lose from here on out. We have to play 100 percent every game.”