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“We get up when we are knocked down”: Minors ready for the tournament

“We get up when we are knocked down”: Minors ready for the tournament

Published on Thursday, July 4, 2024, 00:35

They’re an experienced group that’s been through every possible scenario. That’s how head coach Tyler Cristo sums up his Prince Edward-Farmville Minors baseball team. The all-star team that won the District 5 championship will compete in the state championships later this week.

“We get back up when we get knocked down and keep fighting and representing our country,” Cristo said when asked about the team’s greatest strengths. “Our pitchers are very experienced and a balanced offense to counteract that.”

Each year, the all-star group is selected from a pool. This season, three Prince Edward-Farmville Minors teams competed in the league. Cristo and his coaching staff selected 11 players from over 30. He has already seen the team come together and develop, and called the 8-7 win over Nottoway a big step in the district tournament.

“Beating Nottoway, a District 5 Division 1 team, 8-7 was the most impressive win I have ever been a part of,” Cristo said. “This group never gave up. and used every ounce of energy they had on that sweltering Sunday afternoon. It was fun to watch the determination and toughness they showed in the District 5 tournament. (And to see) them get that crucial win that got us to states (the tournament) was awesome.”

One last run for minors

And for many of these players, the phrase “one last run” applies.

“A lot of this year’s team will be moving up to the majors (Little League) next season,” Cristo said. “This is our last chance at the minor league level. I’m enjoying coaching this group and watching them grow and develop.”

And Cristo has produced quite a few players in the eight years he’s worked with Prince Edward-Farmville teams. He’s worked with the same group for the past four years and participated in All-Stars. He also has plenty of experience to share after five years as head coach of Prince Edward High’s baseball team. He’s currently trying out a different role in the fall, working as head coach for Fuqua’s football program.

But before football, there are still many games on the baseball field this year.

“The state tournament is going to be tougher with a lot of great teams and players,” Cristo said. “Some teams are going to be bigger than us in terms of size and strength, but we’re going to show up in Clarksville on July 5th and compete.”

Cristo said he expects good pitching and hitting from all teams. He said a tough league helps players prepare for the postseason in many ways.

“It’s been good to watch Lunenburg, Charlotte and Buckingham all season to see how we stack up against those county teams,” Cristo said. “We’re going to compete and be prepared for whatever comes our way. (We’re going to) stay in the moment and focus on what we can control.”

When does the state tournament start?

Prince Edward-Farmville will play in Clarksville next Friday, July 5. They will face Hopewell with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.