By Doug Kennedy
Our under-18 baseball team can win an OBA -U18 C division championship at home this weekend. They won all three road games this past weekend in Essex and Belle River and before this past weekend, they beat out Wallaceburg and Waterdown in a round robin playoff, over three weekends.
The team won a close one, 5-4, in Essex on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Beisel was the winning pitcher, working 6.1 innings, with the bullpen getting the final two outs. Peyton Howald got the final out with the bases loaded, in the bottom of the seventh inning. Mack Beisel created most of the offence, with three RBIs.
They travelled to Belle River and won 12-0, with Howald throwing a one-hitter over five innings. Forty of his 51 pitches were strikes. Nate Raey and Beisel had seven RBIs between them and Raey hit two home runs.
Head coach Warren Beisel said all 13 players had a part in the three wins. Coach Travale told the boys this was a business trip and they took care of business.
On Sunday morning, the U18 team had their bats rolling again and won 11-1 in five innings, in Belle River. Ethan Cutting picked up the win in this game. Raey pitched the final three innings in relief. All 11 players got at least one hit in this game.
It was great to watch baseball at Connaught Park a couple of weeks ago. Kincardine won both games at home but both were close, hard fought wins. There was a good crowd at both games.
If you want to see some entertaining baseball, they are playing at home this weekend. They play Belle River on Saturday at 2 p.m., Essex at 5 p.m. and Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The two games against Essex will determine the winner of the C category for this year. Bring your lawn chair out to the park this weekend.
The Blue Jays have gone for a tumble the last few weeks. One of the problems might be the head coach.
The east division is full of some of the best coaches in baseball. Charlie Montoyo is a third year head coach with the Blue Jays and it is time for this team to move to the next level. I think one of the keys of being a great manager is to win the close games and bring the right pitchers out of the bullpen at the right time to win these close games. Montoyo gets a failing grade from me in this department. John Gibbons, the past manager for the Blue Jays, was so good at these little things.
Probably the best coach in baseball is Kevin Cash, from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Boston Red Sox have one of the best in Alex Cora. The New York Yankees have a good one in Aaron Boone, who knows he better win or he will be out.
On paper, the Blue Jays are as good as these three teams, but they are struggling to keep up in the win column. It will be interesting to see what they do in the off season.