Silver Lining for D.L. Hannon Mosquito Astros at OBA Year End Tournament, News, Mosquito OBA, 2019 (Mitchell Minor Baseball)

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Silver Lining for D.L. Hannon Mosquito Astros at OBA Year End Tournament
Submitted By Erin Klumper on Thursday, September 5, 2019
They had a job to do.  In their own quiet and understated way, the 2019 D.L. Hannon Mosquito OBA’s are everything that a championship team is made up of, as they exemplify the word teamwork with their heart, determination and perseverance.  After securing the third place in the "D" Division during the qualifying tournament in July, the Astros defied all the odds during the year end Mosquito OBA Championship finals, held August 30th to September 1st, in Port Elgin. Playing a total of seven intense games over the course of three days, the team started to make a little noise, respectably gaining momentum, as each member brought their A-Game to the tournament, and proudly returned home with the Silver medal, as the "D" Division finalists!

Friday night under the lights, the Astros came out with all their bats firing, and started the tournament at 8 p.m. with a win against Kingsville. Ethan Jarmuth went the distance in the opening game, pitching a solid 4 innings, while Matthew Menheere closed out the final inning, securing the team’s first win of the tournament, with a 14-4 mercy. 

This moved the team to the 11 a.m. time-slot Saturday morning, against the home team, Saugeen Shores. With Landon VanBakel on the mound, he quickly and effectively got to work, only allowing 3 runs over four innings.  Max Hannon, Charlie Wolfe and Ryan Klumper each took a turn, closing out the balance of the game.  At the plate, Mitchell started out strong scoring three runs in the first inning, with the help of Klumper scoring two on a triple. In the third, the Astros went up by four runs with the help of Wolfe who knocked two in on a triple, while Klumper drove in one on a double.  In the fourth, Braden Hoegy started the inning with a single, followed by Jonah Gibbings and Owen Bauerman each singling to load up the bases and eventually coming in to score.  The Astros bats then cooled down during the fifth, but left them comfortably ahead 9-3 until the sixth inning, when Saugeen’s bats came alive.  In the field Carson Brown made two impressive and key catches, including the third out of the inning, leaving two of Saugeen’s players stranded on base.  However, it wasn’t enough, as Mitchell would give up 8 runs in the sixth, falling behind 11-9, where they remained for the duration of the game, losing their first in the double knock-out tournament, to the home team. 

Looking to redeem themselves, the second game of the day for the Astros was at 5 p.m. Saturday evening, against Kincardine.  Mitchell came out full force with all players connecting with the ball and sending it flying in all directions.  On the field, Ethan Jarmuth set the tone early making the first out of the game from behind the plate on a high pop-up, while Owen Bauerman in right field, made several key outs gunning the runner down on first base to Max Hannon, who would then turn the ball over for a double play, setting the pace for the rest of the fielders. Logan Verberne was on fire on the mound pitching 3 full innings in the 21-3 mercy, handing Kincardine their second loss of the tournament and ending their tournament run. 

Carrying the momentum forward, Mitchell played their third game later that evening, under the lights against Lucan/Ilderton.  Charlie Wolfe started ton the mound, while Logan Verberne came in to relieve and Jonah Gibbings came in for the close. Lucan was ahead 3-1 after the first inning, and with one on base and one out, they tried to bust ahead in the third, launching a ball deep into centre field and sending the runner home. As the batter rounded third, Braden Hoegy lasered the ball from centre, directly to Jarmuth at the plate, who tagged the batter and ended his chance at a home run. This ignited the Astros spark, and heading into the bottom of third, they scored 9 additional runs taking the lead, with a score of 12-4.  Mitchell was able to prevent Lucan crossing the plate during the final two innings, and in the fifth, Carson Brown and Elijah Bender added solid singles, each cashing in a run, and sent Lucan home after a 14-4 mercy by the Astros. 

  After a well-deserved rest, Mitchell came back to the diamond ready to face Pelham, early Sunday morning.  Ethan Jarmuth was on fire, pitching for the second game in the tournament and held Pelham to only two runs, during his four innings of work. Mitchell’s bats were red hot from the day before, and Jarmuth and Logan Verberne at the top of the order, quickly got to work getting on base with singles, setting the stage for Ryan Klumper to drive in three on a triple, and Matthew Menheere to score two, as he pounded the teams’ first home run of the tournament.  Working through the batting order, all players reached base, as Charlie Wolfe and Klumper each had triples, with Carson Brown, Owen Bauerman and Elijah Bender each adding doubles, scoring 8 additional runs in the third.  A 6 run inning in the fourth closed out the game, and the Astros had their fourth mercy of the tournament with a score of 19-2.

With the remaining three teams all tied for points, the Astros learned that Saugeen Shores received a bye to the finals, and that they would have to face Port Lampton in the Semi-Finals, before joining them in the championship game.

With an hour and a half between games, Mitchell had a chance to re-group and they came to the diamond ready to play.  Ryan Klumper was called to the mound, and in his game of the season, he was on fire striking out 6 over 5 2/3 innings of work, allowing only 1 run.  Going into the seventh inning, Mitchell had a comfortable 4-1 lead, including a home run pounded into right field by Charlie Wolfe in the seventh inning.  However, not to be defeated, Port Lampton was able to tie up the game in the bottom half of the seventh with a grand slam, sending the game into extra innings.  With 2 on base, following a single from Max Hannon, Matthew Menheere stepped to the plate, and with his red hot bat, he knocked in a two run triple, followed by a single from Landon VanBakel, scoring Menheere, giving Mitchell a three run lead.  In the bottom half of the eighth inning, Port Lampton rallied back with two additional runs, but it just wasn’t enough.  The Astros advanced to the finals with a nail biting score of 8-7, in what most would say would be the most heart stopping game of the tournament.

With only 45 minutes between games, the Astros prepared to face Saugeen Shores for the second time, for the Championship game.  Landon VanBakel would take the honours on the mound, only allowing three runs, over four and 2/3 innings.  Mitchell was early on the board, getting three runs in the first, and after being held in the second, they started at the top of the order in the third.  Ethan Jarmuth started the inning with a momentum gathering triple, allowing the Astros to ignite a five run inning in the third.  Jonah Gibbings would come in to relieve at the bottom of the fourth, displaying a solid outing into the seventh inning, followed by Matthew Menheere closing out the game.  In the third inning, Braden Hoegy in left field would again showcase his powerhouse arm, as he fired in to second to pick off the lead runner.  Mitchell’s runs were held in the fourth, adding only one more to their advantage.  However, after seven games, the Astros began to lose  steam, and couldn’t maintain their bats after the fourth inning.  With the Astros giving a valiant effort on the field, the rested Saugeen team’s bats were too much for the tiring Astros, and they won the game with a final score of 12-9, sending the Astros home with the silver medal and title of the OBA "D" Division Finalists.

on outstanding tournament boys! Everyone had an amazing weekend, and has a highlight reel that they should be proud of.  Your hard work and dedication, left no doubt in the minds of the spectators present, of the depth of this team, and you should all be proud for your classy display of sportsmanship throughout the weekend.  You sure know how to make your parents more than a little emotional, and your fans and home town all proud!

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