Bendigo's under-14 representative team has wrapped up two big days of baseball at the 2022 State Winter Championships.
The squad competed against some of the best junior teams from across Victoria and made it all the way to the Pool B bronze-medal match on Sunday, but went down fighting against a talented Latrobe Valley squad, final result 1-11.
However, the most important aspect of the tournament hosted by the Bendigo Baseball Association was for the team to develop their skills on the diamond and above everything else, have some fun.
Bendigo coach Seb Smith said he was proud that the team did their best possible job during each game at the two-day tournament.
"Each and every player on the Bendigo team walked away at the end of the tournament as much better players from all of the experience they gained on the weekend," he said.
"At times our team made some really exciting plays which you wouldn't see in the regular season.
"Even though we lost a couple of games by large margins, the whole team kept cheering each other on and never stopped having fun.
"The entire weekend they never stopped working together as one solid team unit."
Bendigo's Asha Murphy was named as the team's most valuable player - which was determined via vote from opposition teams.
"This is such a prestigious award for Asha and what makes it even greater was we had no hand in the decision as it was voted by coaches from the other teams," Smith said.
"It was a very proud moment for the team and also his home club Bendigo East.
"He was a bit surprised by it, but there's no doubt he well and truly earned the recognition after having such a great impact during the games."
Murphy said the MVP recognition had boosted his confidence on the diamond.
"It really does make me feel quite great knowing that I've been noticed and acknowledged as a player," Murphy said.
Murphy has been playing baseball for nearly three years and truly loves every aspect of the sport.
"It's just so fun and I love the strategy behind playing baseball," he said.
West Development Academy won the Pool A competition with an 8-3 win over Dandenong to finish the tournament at 6-0.
Geelong were the winners of Pool B, defeating BV Allstars Grey 7-4 in the grand final.
The tournament at the weekend marks the start of a busy few weeks for the Bendigo Baseball Association.
Preparations are now underway for the BBA's under-12 and under-16 squads to compete at upcoming representative tournaments.
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