Minor League Bees take championship


Major League

Tigers 8, Red Sox 15 at Lewis Monk.

Red Sox 4, White Sox 19 at Lewis Monk.

Minor League

Bees 13, River Cats 11. What a great night of American League Minor League playoff baseball at Horace Mann on Wednesday night between the River Cats and the Bees. The Bees took an early lead going up 8-3 after 2 innings but the courageous River Cats fought all the way back to take a 10-9 lead heading into the last inning. Bennett Hogan lead the inning off with a gutsy base on ball after falling behind in the count, 1-2. Atticus Beasley reached base and Jack Lavery lined a base hit to score Hogan for the tying run. The Bees scored 2 more runs as Beasley and Lavery both came around to score on great at-bats by Ryan Dolan, Alex Nall and Emma Desmond to make the score 13-11 Bees. Desmond faced 4 batters in the bottom of the 6th to preserve the win for the Bees. For the River Cats Starter David Morro, Ryan McGuinness and Paul Nault all pitched very well. The River Cats offense was powered by Brendan Zinck who went 3-3 with 2 doubles and 3 runs scored. The Bees got outstanding pitching from starter Tyler Muse, Jack Lavery, Dolan and closer Emma Desmond. The Bees offense was led by Lavery who went 4-4 with 4 runs scored. Muse, Nall and Hogan all scored multiple runs for the Bees.

Bees 8, Bandits 5. The Churchill American Minor League Championship game was played between the Bees and Bandits. Both teams played tremendous baseball in front of a huge, enthusiastic crowd at Lewis Monk. The Bandits took the lead in the bottom of the first when starter Jake Bird singled off of Bees starter Tyler Muse. Chris Gill doubled in Bird to give the Bandits the lead 1–0. Muse struck out the next two Bandits hitters to get out of the inning. The Bees took the lead in the top half of the second when Emma Desmond and Amir Lahkiky both singled to start the inning. Both moved up a passed ball to make it second and third with no outs. Matt Mahoney had a gutsy at bat and hit into a fielder’s choice to score Desmond. Bennett Hogan then hit a clutch two out single to score Lahkiky and give the Bees a 2–1 lead. The Bandits came back in the bottom of the second with two runs of their own when Joey Zama-Lenfest led off with a single and Quinn Mathews reached on a walk. Both came around to score to make it 3-2 Bandits heading into the third inning. The Bees came out swinging in the top half of the third when Atticus Beasley, Jack Lavery and Ryan Dolan hit consecutive base hits and all came around to score to give the Bees a 5-3 lead. The Bandits scored their final two runs of the game in the bottom half of the third off Bees reliever Lavery. Joe Denton and Jamey Bergeron led off with base hits and scored when Dylan Harrington hit a clutch two strike base hit to score both. At the end of three it was 5–5. Neither team could score in the fourth. In the top of the fifth, Alex Nall of the Bees led off and reached base on a tough at bat resulting in a base on balls. He ended up coming around to score the eventual game winning run to put the Bees up 6-5. The Bandits were held scoreless again in the bottom of the fifth as Lavery and closer Dolan pitched tremendous while the catching of Muse was outstanding consistently picking balls out the dirt and keeping the ball in front of him to not allow Bandit runners to advance. The Bees got two insurance runs in the top of the sixth when Beasley and Lavery hit back to back singles to open the sixth. Both scored on a stinging single by Dolan. In the bottom of the sixth, Bees closer Dolan struck out three Bandits hitters and the celebration was on for the Bees. The Bees and Bandits both played tremendous baseball and should be very proud of how they not only represented themselves but how they represented Churchill American Little League. As they lined up to shake hands the camaraderie, respect and friendship was very evident. Players from both teams were seen playing and hanging around together after the game. That is what youth sports should be all about. On to the City Series.

Federal (Kid Pitch)

Angels 3, Athletics 1. In a suspenseful playoff game between the Angels and the top seeded Athletics, both teams battled over 8 innings locked into a 1-1 tie. Both teams exhibited fantastic pitching prowess by Nick Vassallo, Sam Houppert, Viktor Sips, Aidan Barber, Owen Mujalli for the Angels and by Mikey O’Leary, Chris Sullivan, Cavan O’Leary for the Athletics. Solid hitting and fielding skills by both teams, including double plays, contributed to the tight game. In the 8th inning the tie was finally broken with RBIs by Theodore Thomas and Zack Hoyt of the Angels. Final score was Angels 3 and Athletics 1.

Published in the June 26, 2015 edition