The Mitchell Stickhandler Tier 1 Major Rookie Astros capture the OBA Provincial ‘D’ Championship, News (Mitchell Minor Baseball)

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The Mitchell Stickhandler Tier 1 Major Rookie Astros capture the OBA Provincial ‘D’ Championship
Submitted By Admin on Monday, September 5, 2016
The Mitchell Stickhandler Tier 1 Major Rookie Astros captured the OBA Provincial ‘D’ Championship on Labour Day weekend in Port Lambton, finishing things off with a 12-2 victory in the final over Woodslee. The locals started off strong, shutting down their opponents immediately in the top half of the first, then put their high octane offense to work. !

 Consecutive RBI base hits by Kellen Russwurm, Ben Medhurst, and Ryan Hubbard built a 3-0 lead after one, repeating the process in the second inning to increase the lead to 6-0. Woodslee got on the board in the top of the third with a pair of runs, but Mitchell broke it open in the bottom half with five more runs. Jordan Viskneskie opened the inning with a deep triple to centre field, and Russwurm followed with an RBI triple to score Visneskie. Run-scoring base hits by Medhurst and Darius Ladd followed, and Joel Meinen and Hayden Nicholson also drove in runs. The final Woodslee batter grounded out to pitcher Jack Miller who threw to first baseman Russwurm to preserve the victory and the celebration was on

The locals opened the tournament on Friday morning with a 13-1 victory over Delhi. Sitting on a 3-0 lead after three innings of play paced by Visneskie’s two-run triple, the Astros erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning as Medhurst, Hubbard, and Ladd all delivered RBI singles. Zach Houben would also drive in two runs with a base hit. Medhurst was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, and Houben led with a total of 5 RBI’s for the game. Extra-base hits were also recorded by Carson Harmer and Russwurm.

Mitchell would then top Dresden by a score of 16-8 later that afternoon, coming out firing hard with seven runs in the first inning. After loading the bases, Visneskie and Russwurm each cashed in a run, with the big blow coming on Medhurst’s bases-loaded triple. Hubbard would then drive in Medhurst with a double. Medhurst, Hubbard, Ladd, and Charlie Geiger all reached base in each at bat, and extra base hits were also recorded by Harmer, Russwurm, Hubbard, and Houben. Hubbard led with three runs scored.

The competition was expected to ramp up for Saturday, and the Astros began the day with a morning matchup against an anticipated tough opponent in Woodslee. Once again the bats exploded right away for five runs, as Harmer, Dominic Marshall, Jack Miller and Jordan Visneskie all led off the game with consecutive base hits, with Miller’s RBI single driving in Harmer for the first run. Russwurm drove in the second run on a fielder’s choice, and Medhurst continued swinging his hot bat with a two-run double. Ladd also drove in a run to round out the scoring in the first inning. Mitchell would double the score in the second inning with another five runs, highlighted by Visneskie’s two-run single and assisted by three Woodslee errors. Mitchell built a 17-6 lead after four innings of play, displaying the well-balanced attack from all year with single RBI’s by seven different players in the fourth inning. Woodslee would score six runs late in the game, but it was not enough as Mitchell came out on top by a final score of 20-12.

Next up for the day was league rival St Marys in the undefeated game, and the defense came locked and loaded for this one, shutting down the St Marys bats for a 12-1 victory. Mitchell’s infield defense was solid all weekend, but in particular this game stood out as the best effort of the tournament. With a low-scoring affair of 2-0 after three innings of play, Mitchell finally moved out to a 6-0 lead in the fourth. Visneskie tripled and scored on Hubbard’s RBI single, and Houben and Meinen also added run-scoring base hits. St Marys would add a lone run in the last inning to spoil the shutout. Hubbard and Geiger each reached base safely each time and paced the attack with two runs scored.

Moving into Sunday at 4-0, the locals would face Woodslee again. Things started off strong when the opponent’s first three batters went quietly, and then Harmer opened the scoring by reaching on an error and scoring on Marshall’s RBI single. Things went awry at this point, as the juggernaut offense went to sleep and the locals dropped a 7-4 decision to force an extra game vs Blenheim to determine who would then face Woodslee in the final. After a brief rest, the fired-up Astros responded in typical fashion, pounding Blenheim 19-1 in a lopsided affair that ended after three innings. Harmer and Marshall belted two-run home runs, and Miller and Marshall each scored three times. Visneskie led with 4 RBI’s, Marshall and Hubbard stroked triples, and each Mitchell batter got on base at least once to set the stage for the final victory.

The championship win was a milestone for the young team, establishing themselves as the first ever Rookie team to win an OBA Championship for the town of Mitchell. Great job, boys!!! A big thank you goes out to the parents from the coaching staff for all of your kids’ hard work, and for your patience and support as we drove hard toward this goal all year. And sincere appreciation to sponsor Gus Eyers from The Stickhandler for being behind our boys 100% of the way!

Thanks a ton!

Article Courtesy of Trevor Russwurm

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