The bitter taste of swift defeat is still on the tongues of half of the South Whidbey Little League 9/10 All-Stars.
Six of the 12 players remember last season’s amazing District 11 run. The South Whidbey team cruised through its district to represent Whidbey and Skagit County at the state tournament in Auburn. Then they were swiftly eliminated after two losses.
“It would be awesome to have a second chance,” said player Aidyn Frederick, one of the returners from last year’s squad.
This year’s South Whidbey All-Star team is older than last year, which had a majority of nine year olds on the team. Their pitching improved in both skill and depth — 10 of the 12 players are capable of taking the mound for at least an inning.
“Home field advantage definitely helps,” said player Brent Batchelor.
They were counting on knowing the bounce and roll of the Community Park ballfields ahead of their tournament this weekend. At a recent practice, the sluggers caught fly balls, worked on baserunning and more importantly, listening to the coaches while running the bases.
South Whidbey plays Anacortes at noon Saturday. The winner faces Central Whidbey on Sunday; the loser plays Monday.