Bruins' Little accepts getting hit by pitch as part of leadoff role

The Bruins beat Excelsior Springs by a score of 14-4 at the Sells Development/Red Weir Classic.
Saturday, April 26, 2008 | 10:48 p.m. CDT; updated 11:38 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge second baseman and lead off batter Nick Little was hit by four pitches during the Bruins’ final two games in the Sells Development/Red Weir Classic. He’ll tell you it was five, even though the umpire didn’t agree.

But Little was just doing his job.

As the lead off batter, coach Justin Towe counts on Little to get on base. Towe said that Little knows his role well and will do what he needs to do to get on base.

But Little doesn’t think much of getting hit.

“None of them really hurt,” Little said of the four pitches that found him instead of the plate. “It’s just my job to get on base.”

Little knows he contributes by crowding the plate. But again, he just doesn’t care.

Little first started to get hit last year but has gone fairly unscathed this year.

“Today was the first day I really got hit a lot this year,” Little said.

Little’s ability to get on base played a small part in the Bruins’ big offensive output during the tournament. In his 10 at-bats Saturday, he reached base eight times.

Rock Bridge used an eight-run inning in the top of the sixth against Excelsior Springs to go ahead by10. The Tigers were unable to score and the Bruins won by the 10-run rule, 14-4.

Rock Bridge played St. Dominic for third place Saturday. Rock Bridge scored seven runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a five-run lead. Sophomore Robert DeGraaff took the mound in the seventh to try to close out the game with two out and two on. Instead DeGraaff gave up a double that scored two and a two run home run that tied the game.

In the bottom of the seventh Rock Bridge managed to get Jaide Rose and Kevin Gibble in scoring position for Lonnie Hoffmann. Hoffmann hit a high fly ball into right field that was lost in the sun and dropped, allowing Rose to score for the win.

“We’ve had I don’t how many losses in the bottom of the seventh inning,” Towe said. “They’ve battled and they’ve worked, and they’ve went through a lot. Enough to where I can say, without a doubt, that they earned that ball.”

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