The view from the Play Ball Sports' (Colo.) dugout was a little different Friday night during the opening game of the National Baseball Congress World Series at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
For Play Ball, a group of Colorado teenagers, the towering lights in the outfield were a little brighter; the downtown Wichita backdrop seemed a little more stunning; and the stands a little more full.
It was clear which team has been-there-done-that and which team was a little starry-eyed in the Derby Twins' 11-0 run-rule victory. Derby advances in the winner bracket and will play the Sedalia (Mo.) Bombers on Monday.
"It was unbelievable," said Ty Barkell, Play Ball's 17-year-old first baseman. "It felt like the crowd was right on you. We're expecting to go out and compete with everybody we play, but it's an honor to just play against these guys."
In many ways, it was the ideal win for Derby. Its hitters were aggressive in collecting 13 hits, including five extra-base hits in six innings. Cole Waddell connected on a two-run, home run to complete the run-rule win.
"We tried to sit back and wait on pitches," Waddell said. "It felt good to go out there and put some good swings on some pitches."
Starting pitcher John Anderson held Play Ball to two hits and struck out eight batters. Anderson's effectiveness also kept the Twins from using any additional arms.
"I just wanted to go out and throw strikes and attack hitters," Anderson said. "I tried to find their weakness and go after it. I think when I was successful that was the case."
Outside of two scoring opportunities for Play Ball, it was a dominant performance by Derby. Play Ball didn't get the ball out of the infield in the first three innings, while Derby built a 6-0 lead on consecutive hits from Dillon Hazlet, Cam Brown and Waddell.
"They were ready," Twins manager Jason Santangelo said. "I told the guys if you look past these young men, you're going to find yourselves coming up through the losers bracket."
The NBC tournament has been a mixed experience so far for Play Ball. Barkell said the team has been home only once the last month.
But despite being smacked in its first game, Play Ball still enjoyed the aura of opening night.
"They've played the game longer than us," Barkell said. "(Anderson) located wherever he wanted to, where our guys made some mistakes. It just comes with age and experience."
Carter lf3000Bayliff lf2210
Basil cf-rf3000Howick 3b2210
Dwyer 2b3000Watten 3b1000
Barkell 1b2000Jones cf3011
Baldini ss3010Hazlett ss4223
Wollenzin c2000Gregorich 1b1110
Fox 3b1000Hancock 1b1011
Goodenow p2010Brown dh3111
Reno rf1000Ricketts dh1100
Nance cf0000Waddell 2b4224
Play Ball Sports000 000 — 0 Derby Twins106 103 — 11
Game halted with two outs in 6th because of run rule.
E — Ehlers. LOB — Play Ball 6, Derby 6. 2B — Hazlett 2 (2), Brown (1). 3B — Howick (1). HR — Waddell (1). CS — Alexander.
Ehlers L,0-12 1/357532
WP — Anderson. HBP — Wollenzin, Fox (by Anderson); Bayliff (by Ehlers); Howick (by King). T — 1:34.