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Ripken Baseball Coach Spotlight: Lance Mello, Swansea Independent Baseball League

By Ripken Baseball, 09/18/18, 10:15AM EDT

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Baseball imitates life, which is full of challenges and you can’t win every one of them.

Picture this, it’s the bottom of the final inning, your team is down by a run, you have one man on base and walk up to the plate thinking about the throwing error you made the previous inning that let the opposing team take the lead.  You regain focus, dig into the dirt, and on the second pitch, crush a walk-off home run that wins your team the championship.  That’s exactly what happened for Coach Lance Mello’s 11U Swansea Independent Baseball League (SIBL) team at the Blue Crab Week-Long Experience at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen Powered by Under Armour.

It’s that resiliency and growth that Coach Mello admires most from his players.  “A lot of kids have a tough time with failure, but to see our team develop, get better, and push through those tough moments…that’s the biggest reward for me,” said Mello.

The SIBL 11U team is no stranger to accepting challenges.  In their first year playing together, they won nearly every local tournament around Swansea, Massachusetts.  This season, Coach Mello had to increase the competition to continue to develop his players.

“I knew I had to keep challenging them and get them involved in more travel ball, which ultimately led us to The Ripken Experience,” said Mello. “Not only were the kids challenged and playing against tougher competition, they made great memories and felt like major league ball players the entire week.”

Though SIBL has experienced more victories than defeat lately, Coach Mello makes sure his players know there’s more to take away from the game when you finish on the losing end.  He says baseball imitates life, which is full of challenges and you can’t win every one of them.

“Baseball is the only game where you can fail seven out of 10 times and still become a hall of famer. I try and tell our team that life doesn’t always go the way you want it to, but that doesn’t mean things won’t turn out ok.”

Mello says coaching his son’s team is a great reason to get outside and get out on the field after long days and nights serving as a Massachusetts State Trooper.  After travelling for summer tournaments, SIBL is gearing up for fall baseball.