The Pratt 86ers went 1-4 at the Woodward (OK) Festival 19 and Under Baseball Tournament last weekend. With a squad of mostly 14-17 year-olds, the 86ers found the competition a little bit rugged.
“The tournament draws really good teams from Oklahoma and Texas,” explained Pat Stivers, 86ers manager. “1 through 9, the kids on those teams can all hit the ball.”
It was an eye-opening experience for the Pratt kids, according to Stivers. “We wanted them to see that there’s another level of baseball out there,” he said. “We got what we wanted out of this tournament. It was a good experience. They treat you really well at this tournament, and our kids got to play against some really good teams and players. We found out you just can’t make mistakes against those types of teams.”
Stivers was pleased with his team’s progress over the weekend. Although perhaps a bit intimidated at first, the young 86ers soon lost that ‘deer in the headlights’ look and began playing better baseball— even winning a game on Saturday to stay alive for Sunday’s bracket play.
“We only made one error over the last two ballgames,” Stivers mentioned, “and we had a good approach at the plate, taking pitches, putting the ball in play.” The 86ers beat Oklahoma City Academy 10-8 for their win of the tourney.