Down 5-0 heading into the fifth inning of last Saturday’s U15 AA Bantam baseball game at McNicoll Park, Penticton Tigers coach Iain MacIntyre had a few choice words for his players.
Instead of berating the group of kids standing in a circle around him with their heads bowed, he offered this simple observation:
“Look at the scoreboard. The difference between a good team and a great team is that a great team comes back and wins this game.”
And that’s exactly what they did, much to the shock and dismay of their Tri-City Thunder opponents.
One by one as the Tigers players took their turn at bat and the hits just kept coming until they trailed by just one run with Kaiden Skode on third base.
Under the direction of MacIntyre, Skode headed for home on the next play. The throw to the plate was in time but as Thunder catcher Charley Mayo swung around to make the tag, looking for a slide, Skode leapt high in the air over his outstretched hand, the runner’s right foot landing on home plate a fraction of a second later.
The Tigers added what proved to be the winning run before the inning ended and played solid defence to shore up the victory handing the Thunder its first loss of the season.
“They are a very resilient group who never give up. They believe in each other and pull together to prove why we are the Penticton Tigers,” said team manager Nuno Monteiro and 15U Bantam Director, afterwards.
The Tigers’ bats once again came to life in the second game of the double header with Ben Avila and Diogo Monteiro each hitting monster home runs out of the park as the hosts coasted to a 15-9 decision over Tri-City in six and a half innings.
The team is back in action again this weekend at home with double headers against Chilliwack Cougars on Saturday starting at noon and 3:30 p.m. and at the Abbotsford Angels Sunday at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at McNicoll.