The Dayton Raiders 13-14 baseball team went winless in the double-elimination National Amateur Baseball Federation national championship tournament in Northville, Mich., last week.
Dayton manager Glenn Babcock said the team ran into one of those streaks where everything they hit hard was caught and everything the other team hit seemed to find a hole.
"It was still quite a worthwhile experience," Babcock said. "We didn't give up, the players kept rooting for each other, and I was proud of them."
Dayton lost its opening game Thursday, 8-1, to a teamfrom Warren, Mich. Dayton scored in the first inning to lead, 1-0, its only lead of the tournament.
Curtis Mitchell singled to lead off, then stole second. Jason Babcock walked to put runners at first and second with no outs.
Kurt Weitzel bunted them up a base. Mark Jensen hit an infield single that scored Mitchell, but that would be itfor Dayton.
The Raiders banged out a total of seven base hits in the game.
"We had several more opportunities to score, but couldn't get the clutch hit," Babcock said.
Warren's biggest inning was athree-run fourth, as they chipped away at Dayton starting pitcher Weitzel for 13 base hits in the game.
"They hit a lot of 'tweeners,'" Babcock said. "Nothing hard."
Weitzel and Mike Deming had two hits each. Joe Cristy, Mitchell and Jensen had the other hits.
In Dayton's second game Friday, the Raiders lost, 7-2, to Northville, Mich.
This time the Raiders got only one base hit -- by Weitzel -- but drew 10 walks.
"We hit a lot of balls hard, but right at people," Babcock said.
Dayton scored its two runs in the fifth inning. Keith Radcliffe and Mitchell walked, and both runners stole a base. A wild pitch allowed Radcliffe to score and Mitchell crossed the plate on a ground out by Babcock.
Northville's big inning was a four-run third off starter Geno Baccaglini, who gave up 11 hits and walked two.
"We won seven straight games to get into the national tournamentand went further than we had aspirations of when the season began," Babcock said.
"We would like to have done better in the national tournament, but we didn't leave thinking we couldn't play with those teams. On a different day, we might have won."
The tournament featured four regional champions and the host team, Northville.
Dayton is a first-year team formed to provide a farm team for two older Dayton teams.
"We were happy to represent Maryland, Howard County and the Howard County Youth Program, through which most of these players came," Babcock said. "Two big innings were really our undoing."
Dayton finished the season 37-19 overall. They tied for fourth place inthe highly competitive Baltimore Metro League with a 22-14 record and earned their NABF regional playoff spot by beating Manchester in a one-game playoff.
Dayton then won five straight in the regional tournament in Clinton, outscoring its opponents, 47-16.