Major Mosquito OBA Capture ICBA Championship, News (Mitchell Minor Baseball)

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Major Mosquito OBA - Major Mosquito OBA Capture ICBA Championship
Submitted By Trevor Russwurm on Wednesday, August 22, 2018
The Mitchell Stickhandler Major Mosquito OBA Astros won the Inter-County Baseball Association Mosquito Tier 2 Championship on August 19th in Cambridge, downing Stratford 9-7 in a thrilling final game.  The victory capped off an impressive season for the locals with a record of 32-5-2, also winners of the Mitchell Mosquito Tournament and finalists in the Kincardine Mosquito tournament.  This was Mitchell's first year competing in the ICBA, which also ended with both the Peewee and Bantam teams reaching the finals in their respective tournaments.

After several rain-delayed schedule changes, the final was ready to go at 1pm on Sunday in Cambridge.  A boisterous Stratford squad, looking to avenge an earlier loss to Mitchell in the undefeated game, jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the top half with four hits off of starter Jordan Visneskie combined with a couple of fielding errors.  Mitchell would answer back in the bottom half, with Carson Harmer opening with a base hit.  After Dominic Marshall reached base on a fielder's choice forcing Harmer at second, Kellen Russwurm greeted starter Grady Murphy with a 2-run home run out of the park to cut the deficit to two.  Visneskie would settle in after that, not allowing another run through his five innings of work, striking out five.  Mitchell would pull ahead in the bottom of the third on a two-run double by Marshall, who was then driven in on an RBI double by Russwurm.  Jack Miller would score on Ben Medhurst's RBI double in the fourth to make it 6-4.  Stratford opened the fifth inning with a runner on second, but catcher Russwurm nabbed a foul bunt attempt and alertly threw to second baseman Miller to double the runner off and snuff out a rally.  Reliever Keegan Priestap came on to start the sixth, allowing one run.  After he was tagged for a solo home run out of the park by Aaron Green to start the seventh, Ryan Hubbard came in to close the win out with two strikeouts sandwiched around a groundout to first.  Harmer reached based in all three at-bats, and along with Miller and Priestap each scored twice.  A defensive gem was on display in the fourth, as centre-fielder Joel Meinen took away extra bases from Green with a diving catch in the game to open the inning.
The #1 seed Astros were rained out on Friday night vs the #8 seed Kitchener, and would take to the field on Saturday morning instead.  Starter Harmer would set the tone for the weekend, tossing a two-hitter through three innings with five strikeouts and allowing one run.  It would be all the Panthers would get, as Mitchell struck right away in the first with their potent offense.  With Harmer and Marshall aboard to start the bottom half, Russwurm lined a three-run home run just over the fence in right-centre to start a five-run outburst.  Harmer and Marshall were threats on the bases all game, swiping a total of five bases combined between them and each scoring three times.  Russwurm, Visneskie, and Miller would each plate twice and Marshall, Russwurm, and Meinen each led with three RBI's in a final score of 13-1.
Next up was Listowel, and Russwurm was raking at the plate again with a pair of three-run triples to pace the attack in a 10-1 victory.  Starter Hubbard and middle reliever Priestap were kept under 45-pitch count to save them for Sunday, and Miller came on in relief to finish up the win.  Extra-base hits were also recorded by Harmer, Visneskie, and Meinen.
The final game for the day was the first of two meetings with Stratford and starter Visneskie was dealing it, cruising through three scoreless innings allowing two hits, walking one, and striking out five before yielding to Miller on pitch count limit.  The Astros built a 9-0 lead through three innings, as Russwurm would homer again to deep CF in the opening inning and Harmer and Marshall would each score twice.  Stratford would rally in the top of the fourth for six runs off of Miller, but the locals would answer back in a big way, putting nine runs across in the bottom half with eight straight base hits combined with two walks.  Russwurm would give up two runs in the final inning finishing up at a score of 18-8.
Winning the undefeated game put Mitchell into the semi-finals on Sunday morning vs the lowest seed remaining, setting up a rematch with Listowel ending in an 8-3 victory.  Starter Harmer went the max pitch count distance, allowing three runs on three hits mixed in with five strikeouts.  Reliever Hubbard would come on to pitch the final two innings, retiring all six outs after an opening double.  Mitchell's well-balanced attack was featured again, as eight different players would each score a run to send the team to the championship game.
Next up is two weeks of exhibition games and practices to prepare for the Mosquito OBA 'C' Provincial Championship in Dorchester on Labour Day Weekend.

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