By Doug Kennedy
Baseball in Kincardine is in full swing, with our local U18 team already playing games.
The team is in full preparation mode for the beginning of OBA August Madness, which will kick off on the road in Wallaceburg on July 31. Kincardine is in a bracket with Waterdown and Wallaceburg. The other bracket has Essex, Belle River and Corruna. On Aug. 8, Kincardine will travel to Waterdown. On Aug. 14, Kincardine will be the host team with games at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each team plays two games every day.
Kincardine has two wins and one loss to start the season. The wins were against Saugeen Shores (8-4) and Flesherton (8-1) and the loss was against Mitchell (8-4).
During these three exhibition games, the team has had solid pitching from Mack Beisel, Wilson Shipp, Payton Howald , Ethan Cutting, Cam Klein, Jesse Bittel, Jack Diaz and Jordan Beisel.
At the plate, offensively, the bats are starting to heat up and the group is having more quality at bats. Robbie Tibben went two for three in the Saugeen Shores victory. Jesse Bittel and Nate Arnold both had extra base hits against Mitchell. The biggest swing of the season to date came off the bat of Mack Beisel, who legged out a triple in Flesherton this past Wednesday.
The Blue Jays are in a tough spot with Marcus Semien, who is on a one-year $18 million contract.
With the Blue Jays in tough to make playoffs, they could probably get some good young players in return for him before the trade deadline on Friday. Pitching with term left on a contract will be a priority in this type of trade with this really good young team. They have a shot at a wild card playoff game if their pitching could be improved. Hitting is not a problem for the Blue Jays. Catching is crowded for the Blue Jays – they need to trade one.
It will be exciting for the team to actually play in front of its true home fans, beginning July 31. Only 15,000 fans will be allowed in the stands.