BRISTOL, Conn. — The Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament opener didn’t go as Plainview would have liked, but the Hawks have a solution for that. “Maybe go in the pool to swim this off,” catcher Steven Kurre said, “and get ready for tomorrow.”
Plainview, the 10-to-12-year-old New York State champion, dropped its first game in the double-elimination tournament to Holbrook (New Jersey), 9-0, on Monday at Breen Field at A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center.
Plainview will face Milton (Delaware) in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Milton lost its first game, 4-3, to Upper Providence (Pennsylvania) on Sunday.
But the Hawks weren’t worried about the loss. They’ve been too busy enjoying the opportunity to play in the tournament they’ve watched on television the past few years. “It’s so exciting, it’s almost like a dream come true,” outfielder Tyler Dady said. “You always see these games on TV and now to be in it, it’s fun.”
Kurre, who had Plainview’s lone hit Monday and is coming off a broken finger, is happy to be back on the field contributing with his friends. “Coming to regionals is really cool, being on TV is really cool, and it’s also just very exciting,” he said. “Playing in big games is very nerve-wracking, but it’s still very fun.”
Coach Paul Brower is interested in seeing how his players respond to another elimination scenario. “These kids, you put them in a corner and they come out fighting,” he said. “And that hopefully is the case tomorrow and I’m excited to see them come out tomorrow and sort of prove themselves to the rest of the talent that’s here.”
Plainview is 12-3 in the tournament, 7-0 in elimination games. “We do good under pressure,” Dady said, “because we just forget about what’s around us and we just do what we do.”
Holbrook hit three home runs. “I tip my cap to them,” Brower said. “They can hit the ball, they can pitch. I don’t necessarily know if we did what we can do. We didn’t have our greatest game offensively or defensively. I think we are going to come out fighting in our next game and hopefully play better baseball.”
Plainview needs four straight victories to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, but the experience has been rewarding.
“This is fantastic. It’s not the outcome we wanted, but just being here is unbelievable,’’ Brower said. “We’re here to win and we didn’t do that today, so that’s not the outcome we wanted, but just to be here is fantastic.”