Past Experiences Propel Scottsdale Dirtbags into Win Column at 11U Futures Invitational

Traveling over 2,100 miles all of the way from Arizona, the Scottsdale Dirtbags entered into the 11U Futures Invitational with the mindset that they could win it all this year.

The Dirtbags have participated in the Futures Invitational for three years and have come up just short of a podium finish in each, but this time around has been different to say the least.

On Thursday, Scottsdale came out firing on opening day with a 7-4 win against Future Elite before topping Braves Baseball Academy, 8-2, later in the day with timely hitting and pitching dominance being huge contributors in both wins.

“They were hitting their spots and getting ahead of the count a lot of times against a good number of batters. Our guys were throwing a lot of strikes and being efficient,” said Chavez.

Head coach Paul Chavez credits the team's success to their drive and hunger from previous years experiences.

“We are prepared for this. We've been waiting for a year to get to this point. It’s an amazing experience. We're very proud of the boys for playing as good as they have. They’ve played well so far,” said Chavez.

Heading into the second day of pool play, the Dirtbags were scheduled to collide with another undefeated team: SBA Bolts National.

The contest between the two squads was predominantly a defensive outing thanks to strong efforts on the mound from both teams, but it was Clayton Ratliff and Carlo Rivero that truly shined for Scottsdale.

In seven innings of work, the duo combined for 12 strikeouts while only allowing three hits, keeping the Bolts off of the scoreboard the entire contest to secure a 3-0 win.

“Everything was centered around our pitching. We pitched really well. They were hitting their spots and our defense played really good behind them. We got lucky that we got our barrels going when we had the chance, leading us to go on a run where we scored three. It was amazing,” Chavez said postgame. “We played one of the toughest teams here so that was our expectation for these types of games: low scoring and our pitching performance would be key.”

After the win, Coach Chavez acknowledged that he has a team with an immense amount of talent and believes they have what it takes to go far in the tournament, but he states the key to success will be if they have the right mindset headed into their next few games.

“We have to keep believing in ourselves. We have good players on the team, but they’ll need to show up with a great attitude to go out and battle every single inning, every single pitch.”