Peewees Represent Canada at 60-Team Tournament in Cooperstown, NY, News (Mitchell Minor Baseball)

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2019 Peewee OBA - Peewees Represent Canada at 60-Team Tournament in Cooperstown, NY
Submitted By Trevor Russwurm on Sunday, August 18, 2019
The Mitchell Stratford RV Peewee OBA Astros recently returned from competing in a tournament at Cooperstown All-Star Village, placing 7th out of 60 teams in the round robin play with a record of 5-0-1 before falling in the final 16 of the playoff round.  A large contingent of parents and siblings (plus G-Hubb) joined the team in support, camping at nearby Hartwick Highlands as well as two families renting a house a mere two minute drive from the facility.

The team arrived on Saturday August 10th for check-in, move-in to bunkhouse Bob Feller #19 (each bunkhouse was aptly named after a HOF inductee), and opening ceremonies.  A full team and family BBQ was held later that afternoon, with free time in the evening for players and coaches to explore the facility that would be home for the next week.
The Astros opened tournament play on Sunday afternoon on Yankee Stadium Field #36 (first time playing on artificial turf) vs the Warrington Wolverines from the Philadelphia area.  Josh French drew the opening start of the tournament, and quickly went to work with two strikeouts and an infield popup in the first inning.  The Astros then got on the board right away in the bottom half, as Carson Harmer drew a leadoff walk, stole second, and was driven in by French's RBI double.  The Wolverines again went three-up-three-down in the top of the second, and the Astros would extend their lead to 4-0 led by Ryan Hubbard's two-run home run out of the park.  The Astros would allow two runs in the third, but that would be all, and Caleb Templeman added a solo home run in the fifth for insurance, his first of five home runs overall that led the team for the tournament.  Final score was 5-2 Astros, and their first victory on non-Canadian soil was in the books!
Later that afternoon the Astros would face the Lou Gehrig Iron Horse Blue, based on Long Island.  Keegan Priestap took the hill for this start, and the boys faced an uphill battle finding themselves down 5-1 after three innings of play with the only run on another Templeman solo shot.  But the bats came to life in the top of the fourth, as several Iron Horse defensive errors, walks, and wild pitches led to a seven-run inning capped by Hubbard's two-run double that staked the Astros to an 8-5 lead.  Looking to add insurance runs, Templeman and Jordan Visneskie reached based to open the fifth, setting the stage for Cody Bach's three-run blast to make it 11-5.  Things got tense in the bottom of the sixth with several Astro errors, walks, and a hit-by-pitch for five runs, but catcher Harmer threw out a Wolverine runner on an attempted steal to preserve an 11-10 win.
Monday morning's matchup was with the Freehold, NJ Outlaws with Templeman taking the ball for the Astros.  Both teams slugged it back and forth all game starting right away with three runs each in the first.  Mitchell played long ball again, with Templeman hitting his third solo home run of the tournament, and Bach adding a two-run shot.  The locals would open up an 11-4 lead after an eight-run third led by Visneskie's two-run double.  Freehold pulled within two runs to 11-9 in the fourth, but Mitchell would gain those runs back as French and Templeman were on base for Visneskie's three-run homer.  The Outlaws would chip away, but final score at the end was 15-13 Astros.
Monday's second game of the day was the Long Island Panthers, and the potent Astro bats went to work right away in top of the first with a nine-run outburst.  Doing what he does best, leadoff batter Harmer singled, stole second and third, and trotted home on French's RBI base hit.  Kellen Russwurm added a two-run single, and the Astros would bring a total of 14 batters to the plate that inning.  Long Island never could recover, and Mitchell would have a 12-4 mercy win after five innings with French getting the win in his second start of the tournament.
The final two round robin games were scheduled for Tuesday, and the Astros knew they in were in for an early and long day, with game times of 7:30am and 8:30pm.  The locals showed up ready to play for the early morning game vs the East End Tomahawks, another Long Island team, at the Green Monster Field #35 featuring a shorter porch in left field with a higher wall, mimicking Boston's Fenway Park.  The Astros right away went to work on the bats with three runs in the opening inning in support of starter Priestap as Harmer, French, and Templeman would all score.  Jack Miller and Joel Meinen would cross the plate in the second inning to build a 5-0 lead.  Russwurm would open the fourth inning with the first home run over the Green Monster, a solo shot, and two batters later Meinen would also blast one over and it was 7-1 Astros.  The bats got hot at the end, as Templeman would hit home run #'s 4 & 5, including the big blow grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to complete the 16-7 rout.  The Astro record now stood at 5-0, and briefly had them in first place out of all 60 teams!
Following a rain delay, the second game of the day finally began at 10pm, and a tired group of boys got set to battle the NJ RBI Cadets.  The Cadets got to starter Templeman early with four runs on four hits and two errors, forcing the Astros to play catchup most of the game.  After getting shut out in the first inning, Dominic Marshall got the locals on the board with a solo home run.  The Cadets were held off the scoreboard for the next three innings, and the Astros finally had their first lead of the game in the fourth after scoring three runs on three walks and two errors.  The Astros used their potent running game to force errors, with word spreading around the village all week about "that fast Canadian team", and "don't they just play hockey up there?"!  Trailing 6-5 in the fifth, Hubbard's solo shot and French's RBI groundout retook the lead 7-6.  The Cadets would score the tying run in the sixth on a wild pitch, and the Astros could not cash any of their four runners in the bottom half.  The game would end in a 7-7 tie at midnight, a grueling 16-hour day for the team.
With a record of 5-0-1 in pool play, the Astros would finish 7th, earning a top 8 bye that saw them have the entire day off on Wednesday for some rest and relaxation.  The team would take a field trip to the Hartwick Highlands campground for a family spaghetti meal, swimming, bike-riding, horseshoes, and of course more baseball on the makeshift field.  Everyone returned back to All-Star Village early that evening to watch some of the other playoff games, and then it was early to bed for the Final 16 playoff round at 10am.
The Astros would square off with the HB TB Scrappers from California, quickly experiencing the effects of a warm weather team that plays baseball for 12 months a year.  French drew the start, and the Scrappers got to him quickly with two base hits to open the game, followed by a three-run home run.  Another two-run home run later, and the Astros were quickly in a 5-0 hole.  Six games of ball in three days had it's effect on the Astro bats too, with only two base runners in the opening three innings as Bach was hit by a pitch and Hubbard would hit a long single off the wall in right centre.  The only Astro run came on a French base hit in the fourth, stealing second, advancing on a wild pitch, and scoring on Visneskie's RBI groundout.  Final score stood at 9-1 for the Scrappers, who would then fall in the quarter-finals 14-10 to eventual champion New Jersey Select.
What an experience for this team, truly a week of memories to last forever!  The team returned home on Friday Aug 16th to immediately jump into ICBA playoff action in Stratford, followed by the OBA Peewee 'C' Championship in Waterdown on Labour Day Weekend.  Congrats on a great tournament, Astros!!!
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Printed from on Friday, February 28, 2020 at 1:21 PM