After taking a 12-2 loss against Five Cities on July 8, the Selma 14s Babe Ruth baseball team bounced back with three consecutive wins.
The 14s stayed alive in the Central California State Tournament in Hanford, first beating San Benito 4-2 on July 9, then squeezing out a 6-5 win against Madera before beating Lompoc 9-5 on July 10.
Selma 14s head coach Nestor Carrasco saw the disappointment in his players' eyes after the first loss, but he believed they would respond.
"They usually come back after a tough loss," he said. "They battle the next day after a tough loss and they do a good job of letting it go. They come back the next day and do something positive."
In the loss against Five Cities, Selma was plagued by mistakes. However, the players quickly adjusted to the higher-level competition in the tournament.
"At the state level, you can't expect to win games if you fall behind and not play the fundamentals of the game," Carrasco said. "We had too many walks, too many errors. You can't do that against a good team. You have to give yourself a good chance by making the key plays."
The losses ultimately turn into life lessons for the young players.
"You just have to keep talking to them about bouncing back. Nobody likes to lose, but that's life," Carrasco said. "Life throws things at you that you don't like. This is just a game. Tomorrow is going to come and it's time to play again."
"It's a commitment," he added. "The result [on July 8] wasn't what we wanted, but baseball is a game where you have to put the time in. Eventually, you start to see results as you work at it. It takes years. Some days it's going to be good, some days it's bad."
Selma was scheduled to play against Reedley in the semifinals at the time of this publication. Regardless where Selma finishes in the tournament, Carrasco wants the kids to keep learning.
"If you do win games, you still can learn from them, not just losses," he said. "You never play a perfect game. There's always something that you can get better at. Whether it's a win or loss, don't be satisfied."
For the Selma Babe Ruth League, the participation has been one of the most encouraging aspects of the season.
"We get a lot of kids that want to play. That always shows that it's a good league," Carrasco said. "We don't get many people who quit. They like the way the league is organized. We get more of a commitment level from the parents and the community."