Orioles claim MWBL title
For The Madison Press
The Orioles finished their regular season with a 10-1 mark and entered the 17-team Midwest Buckeye League 10U tournament riding a six-game winning streak.
The championship game was held July 2 at Burr-Wheeler Park with the O’s up against the only team to hand them a loss during the regular season — Fairbanks Kise Trucking.
Both teams finished 10-1 on the regular season in the Midwest Division of the MWBL. The contest ended up being a game of pitching and defense.
The O’s were able to push across three runs in the top of the third inning to take a 3-1 lead. Cade Smith and JT Keith reached base on walks before Ward singled and later scored on a Vinnie Cover single.
Steven Ward pitched the first three innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out two batters.
JT Keith closed out the game, tossing shutout baseball for the final three frames while striking out six.
Key plays in the field were made by White at first base, Smith at second, Drew Herman gunning down a runner at second from behind the plate and the outfield play of Hunter Hardesty, Jonathan Keith and Nick Morris not allowing a ball to get past them, paving the way for the O’s winning the 10U MWBL Championship 4-1.
In game one of the tournament, the O’s got past the London Giants, 9-0, behind the pitching efforts of Cover, Ward and JT Keith. The trio tossed a two-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts over five innings of play.
The game was 2-0 after three innings until the O’s broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning with seven runs behind base hits from Cover, JT Keith and Jonathan Keith.
The O’s beat the London Brewers, 9-5, in Game 2 of the tournament on Friday, June 30. The O’s were trailing 3-2 until Cover and Herman provided clutch hits in the bottom of the third to help the O’s plate seven runs to make the score 9-3.
The O’s were lead on the mound by Ward and JT Keith. The pair scattered five hits and recorded 11 strikeouts in five innings of work.
The semifinals pitted the O’s against the Plain City Red Sox on July 1.
The O’s were able to score two in the first inning, three in the third and three more in the bottom of the fourth to take a 8-6 lead heading into inning number five.
The score remained unchanged after five innings.
The Red Sox did not go quietly in the top of the sixth as they were able to get runners on second and third base with only one out. The umpires were forced to postpone the game due to inclement weather.
When the O’s and Red Sox resumed play July 2, there was one out, runners and second base, third and a full count to the batter.
O’s pitcher, JT Keith was able to toss a called third strike for out number two and proceed to strike out the next Red Sox batter to end the game.
Morris lead the way at the plate with two hits, while Herman, JT Keith, Anthony White and Jonathan Keith each collected a hit apiece.
Hunter Hardesty reached base twice and scored on both occasions.
On the mound for the O’s, Cover, Ward and JT Keith each went two innings allowing six hits and recording seven strikeouts.