By Duncan Agnew | [email protected]
After winning the Virginia Junior League State Tournament in early July, the Alexandria Little League Juniors All-Star team ultimately lost its Southeast Regional Tournament campaign in Ft. Myers, Florida last week.
After a long rain delay in the middle of a tie game with West Virginia to kick off the tournament on Friday, Alexandria triumphed 4-3 to remain in the winner’s bracket for day two. However, on Saturday, North Carolina dominated the Virginia champions 10-0.
“The second game was not as bad as it looked,” Alexandria Manager Matt Keough said. “We had one inning where we gave up a bunch of runs, and we made most our mistakes that inning, so that’s what happened.”
Facing elimination against Tennessee the next day, the local team knew it had to leave everything on the field. Down to the last out in a 1-0 game, Alexandria scratched a run across the plate to force extra innings, but, in the end, fell 2-1 in the team’s final game of the summer.
“We had a lot of opportunities to score, and we just didn’t capitalize,” Keough said.
Despite an early exit from the regional tournament, the team still ranks as the most successful in Alexandria Junior League history. The players and coaches had already etched their names in the record books last month by winning the only state tournament ever hosted in Alexandria.
“These kinds of things [the players] will remember their whole life,” Keough said. “… That’s really part of the overall Little League experience.”