One member of the Louisa Lions’ baseball team recently received an opportunity to show his skills in a national tournament this summer.
Ethan Snyder, a rising senior at Louisa County High School and pitcher for the Lions’ baseball team, traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to play in the Perfect Game/World Wood Bat Association Championship tournament beginning June 28.
Snyder was a member of the Richmond Braves 17U American team, one of three teams organized from members of the Braves’ travel baseball program to compete in the tournament. Snyder’s team was one of 376 teams from across the country entered in the tournament.
“It was amazing,” Snyder said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this. With the number of teams they had, it was a big deal.”
The teams were divided into 47 pools of eight to play a round-robin tournament for the first round, meaning each team played seven games over the course of six days. The top team in each pool would advance to the second round of the tournament for a chance to play for the championship.
The Braves finished fifth in their pool with a record of 3-3-1. They opened the tournament on June 28 with a 3-1 win over the Renegades Elite 17U team from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but struggled to get any offensive momentum in their next three outings, combining for three runs over the three games.
The tide began to turn around in their fourth game, which ended in a 2-2 tie with Chet’s Lemon Juice 17U on July 1. The Braves won their final two games on July 2 and 3, defeating the Dallas Tigers Arias from Coppell, Texas 9-1 and GS Surge Team Akadema Black 11-5 on July 3.
“The last couple of games felt good,” Snyder said. “Early on, we weren’t doing as well. We weren’t working together as a team, but we turned it around.”
Snyder pitched in three of the games for the Braves, including the team’s final outing against GS Surge Team Akadema Black, when he took the mound for the final inning to close out the game.
Snyder also pitched two innings in the Braves’ game against the Ninth Inning Royals 17U Edwards, from Chamblee, Georgia on June 30, the team’s final loss of the tournament. He was on the mound for two innings and struck out four batters as the Braves battled through the game, coming up short 2-1.
With the tournament behind him, Snyder is now looking ahead to his senior season with the Lions. He said the tournament has given him a new appreciation for baseball.
“[This sport] is not something that can be done by just one person,” he said. “If the team’s not working together, they’re not going to do well. [I’ve learned] that it’s very much a mental game. It doesn’t take much to bring a team down if you’re not careful.”