After a week in Jamestown, N.Y., the Lynn Babe Ruth 16-18-year-old All-Stars finally returned home. Close games and a 1-3 record in pool play left a lot to be desired, but a World Series appearance for such a young team is already creating an expectation for the future.
“Our kids really showed out there that they can compete at the high level, at the national level, against competition like that,” said Lynn coach Al Donovan. “… We were the youngest team out there on top of it.”
Although their 1-3 record might not show it, the Lynn All-Stars weren’t too far off from reaching the playoffs. Donovan said the first game, the 5-4 loss against the Fairfax, Va. team particularly stands out. The Lynners put up a 4-0 lead in the top of the third before allowing five runs.
Had they won the game, Lynn could have made the bracket, Donovan said.
A 2-1 loss against the Charleston, Mo. team also indicated Lynn’s potential, as Charleston moved onto win the 2018 Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series.
“To the kids’ credit, they left everything on the field, and they played a great game,” Donovan said. “Defensively, I couldn’t ask more from Devin Curley. … He pitched his heart out, gave us a lot of opportunities to win the game, but we just couldn’t push another one to put us on the board.”
Lynn’s only win game against the host Jamestown—and in a dominant fashion: 8-3.
While the team’s athletic abilities have impressed him, Donovan added that his team’s character has done just the same. “They work hard, and they’re not just really hard workers on the ball field, but they’re good character kids [even off the field],” he said. “They do the right things, and they’re always doing well.”
Donovan said the future will be bright for the group of athletes, some of whom will depart to college, while others will return next year. While it is uncertain exactly who will return, Donovan said that he and Coach Leon Elwell will try to put back the nucleus of the team.
“We feel that if we have the right guys on board and practice and work hard at it, that we will give ourselves a shot,” Donovan said.
Donovan noted the coaching staff’s gratitude to the local businesses and people who supported the team. He said their support allowed the trip to be enjoyable and safe. He noted special thanks to Katie Burt, who set up the team’s GoFundMe page.