by Bradey King
At the start of pool play Friday at the Arizona Spring Championships, the 9u Amarillo Dragons brought their sticks in a 15-5 victory over Gwynn Baseball out of California.
The game was a prime example of a “team win” as the Dragons combined for nearly 20 hits, most of those being bombs for extra bases. Solid pitching and defense backed the powerful hitting performance.
While most teams’ rosters tend to change year after year, head coach Dennis Davison was proud to announce that the majority of his young Dragons have been playing baseball together since they were five years old, which is both rare and special.
“We’re a unique team in Amarillo because we’re one of the only teams that doesn’t cut players. We don’t host tryouts, so unless someone quits we don’t have an opening on our roster,” said Davison.
This organizational approach seems to work in the Dragons favor as the chemistry, solid fundamentals and confidence among this young team was obvious and fun to watch.
“At this age the mentality is to just put the ball in play and good things happen. We also teach our pitchers to pitch to contact, because we believe our defense is good enough to get the other team out,” Davison added.
Whether it was a perfect bunt, RBI triple, stolen base or double play, every Dragons player contributed a “standout” performance during Friday’s outing. Therefore, it was only appropriate that Triple Crown media caught up with multiple players after the game. Tyler Davison, Tanner Snider, Samuel Ramirez, Trey Bass, Dawson Lanham and Brighton McNabb shared their thoughts on the win and excitement about being in Arizona during Spring Training for Major League Baseball.
“I’ve already got two baseballs full of MLB autographs,“ exclaimed the coaches son, Tyler Davison.
All six players agreed that batting and watching MLB games are their favorite parts of the sport and this specific Arizona Spring Championships experience. The Dragons plan to grab a few more W’s and continue to learn a lot in the next few days.
“I learned stuff on defense today, like how to throw it in from the outfield and not short-arm it,” Ramirez said.
Young Davison jokingly added, “I learned to never catch Brighton (McNabb) again. He throws too hard…like 60 miles per hour!”
The team was headed to cheer on the Texas Rangers later Friday and will be back on the diamond themselves Saturday at 12:15 p.m.