WACO, Texas — So maybe they were facing some of the best players the Southwest Region had to offer, but he North Boulder Little League players didn't shy away from the challenge.
Not in the least.
On the first day of the Little League World Series Southwest Regional Tournament on Thursday, the North Boulder Little Leaguers jumped out to an early lead and made that early lead count against Tulsa National Little League. It was exactly the type of start to the regional tournament the NBLL sluggers were looking for.
In the double-elimination tournament, the NBLL group was thrilled to start its foray into the bracket with a 9-7 victory.
"It was great because I've been here three times and our first game has never been our best effort. But we played one of the best teams out of all the teams we saw today and we kept them off the bases earlier. They had two guys throwing as hard as anyone we have but we played our game and we played well enough to get the win."
After the Tulsa National club took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the NBLL lineup put up four runs in the bottom of the inning and added three more in the second to jump out to a 7-2 lead through two frames. Aided by three errors from the Tulsa club, the Boulder squad made the most of five hits and played error-free baseball to pick up the win.
AJ Armstrong and Dillon Souvignier carried the NBLL club through the first four innings before Alex Rucker, who also hit a home run, struck out six Tulsa hitters over the final two frames to close out the win.
"I think we won the game because we were aggressive, both at the plate and one the base paths," Woolwine said. "And then there was Alex Rucker. He hit a home run and made a few plays getting down the line, he hit 77 on his fastball and to get through a game like this the way we did was huge."
The NBLL club will play New Mexico at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Trey Harman, who features the best curveball and change-of-pace arsenal on the club, or Rucker will start the game.
North Boulder Little League 9, Tulsa National Little League 7
At Norcross Stadium
Tulsa 111 301 — 7 6 3
Boulder 430 200 — 9 5 0
W — Souvignier. W — Rucker.
Tulsa hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Fredieu 3-1-0-0, Roberts 1-0-0-0, Hall 1-0-0-0, Gladu 1-0-0-0, Trujillo 3-1-0-1, Gillman 3-1-1-1, Williams 2-1-1-0, Ford 3-1-1-0, Kerr 2-0-0-0, J. Wright 0-1-0-0, Abbott 1-0-1-0, Rasmussen 2-1-1-3, K. Wright 2-0-1-0, Bressie 1-0-0. Totals 25-7-6-5. HR — Rasmussen, Gillman.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Conroy 2-1-1-0, Booth 1-1-0-0, Harman 0-0-0-0, Souvignier 3-2-1-1, Rucker 2-3-1-1, Armstrong 3-1-1-0, Woolwine 1-0-0-0, Zirk 0-1-0-0, Boselli 2-0-1-2, Stafford 1-0-0-0, Roberts 1-0-0-0, Barr 1-0-0-0, Burke 1-0-0-0, Sunderland 3-0-0-0. Totals 21-9-5-4. 2B — Conroy. HR — Rucker. SB — Souvignier.
Tulsa pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Ford 0.2-1-4-4-0-2-0, K. Wright 2.0-2-3-0-1-2, Bressie 2.1-2-2-2-1-2.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Armstrong 2-3-2-2-1-2, Souvignier 2-3-4-4-1-1, Rucker 2-0-1-1-1-6.