Brookline's Under 14 Lou Tompkins All-Star team was full of confidence heading into the Tournament of Champions on Saturday, according to manager Mike Normant.
Brookline was up against a Melrose team that it had defeated twice over the summer — both wins being come-from-behind victories. But the postseason didn't end the way Normant and his team wanted it to.
Brookline fell to Melrose 12-2 in the first round of the Tournament of Champions on Saturday in Framingham. The team scored two runs in the top of the first inning but was held in check for the rest of the afternoon.
"We had good at-bats and we were feeling pretty good, and that was the last really good thing that happened to the whole game," Normant said of the first inning. "Our offense really shut down after the first inning. I think we only had a couple base runners after that."
Melrose — who claimed the championship on Sunday — tacked on four runs in the bottom of the first and five in the bottom of the second to take charge of the game. Brookline had made a living off battling back from adversity all season — highlighted by its four walk-off wins over the year — but Melrose was not giving in this time.
"It was a rare thing for us that we didn't have good at-bats," said Normant. "(Melrose) hit the ball really hard… They were hitting the ball hard over the field."
A couple early defeats in the season could have spelled doom for this team, but Brookline rallied back and made it to the final four in the league.
"It was great," Normant said of the season. "We got off to a tough start. It took us a little time for kids to jel and kids to get on the same page. We played a really strong second half of the season and we really worked hard to get ourselves in the tournament."
Normant will be losing 10 players from the team to the upper age division next season, but the 2010 cast impressed the manager.
"Overall it was a successful year," said Normant. "This was definitely a successful summer for the program."