Redemption was sweet for Scott Vinceri at this year's CVLL Tee-ball Championship game.
Disabled by a broken leg last year, Vinceri could only sit and watch as his Trophy Shoppe team lost to Sierra Pacific in the championship game.
So it was only fitting that Vinceri's walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning secured Trophy Shoppe's dramatic 11-10 victory over Tortas Mexico in an epic struggle for the CVLL 2008 Tee-ball Championships Thursday night at Montrose Park.
â€œAnyone who was around CV Little League last year just felt horrible for Scott and his parents,â€ said Trophy Shoppe's Head Coach Skip McNevin.
â€œHe is a great kid from a great family, and he loves this game. As his coach, I really was focused on trying to put together a team that could get him back into the championship game so he could enjoy it on the field, not just on the bench. That we made it to the game was great, but for him and his teammates to step up and win the game the way they did is just incredible,â€ McNevin said.
This was no ordinary tee-ball game. Tee-ball is known more as an offensive showcase, but this tee-ball game required two extra innings to decide a winner, and featured spectacular defensive plays by players from both teams right up to the end of the game. Trophy Shoppe ultimately won behind a staunch defense that held the league leading Tortas Mexico offense scoreless in the last three innings of the game.
Ty Lankford led Tortas Mexico, recording 12 outs and making a number of dramatic diving catches and solid defensive plays at shortstop for Tortas Mexico. Lankford also contributed a home run, a double and two singles at the plate.
â€œEither team could have won tonight, but we have worked hard all year on defense and I told the players that even in an offensively dominated game like tee-ball, defense wins championships. It is safe to say we proved that here tonight in a hard fought battle against an extremely talented and well coached team,â€ noted McNevin.
Kurt McNevin went 4-for-4 and recorded five outs to go along with three assists at second base. John Moore shut down the middle of the field grabbing sharp line drives for outs and playing an error free game at pitcher, and shortstop Vinceri and first baseman Braeden Bentzen teamed up for many of the 24 outs Trophy Shoppe recorded in the game.
For Tortas Mexico, Zach Feehan had two triples among his three hits and made a number of strong defensive plays to keep the game close. Jack Goodman, Timothy An, and Justin Parrott also played solid defense and had a number of timely hits to keep the tension and excitement in the crowd at a fever pitch throughout the game.
After starting slow and losing its first two games of the season, Trophy Shoppe turned things around and won the second half of the Tee-ball season, going 7-0 (12-3 overall) to earn a berth in the championship game. Tortas won the first half of the season going 7-0 (12-3 overall), but fell to Trophy Shoppe in the first game of the second half, setting up the rematch of the league's top two teams in last week's championship game.