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Minor League bats on fire

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The Minor League Winds Cafe Indians finished the first full week of play at the top of the standings with a win and a pair of forfeits. They now stand at 3–0 after forfeits by the Tom’s Market Pirates on Wednesday, June 18, and the Sam and Eddie’s Open Books Reds on Sunday, June 22. Meanwhile, the Reds won their second straight with a 16–8 victory over the Vintage Truck Dragons on Monday, June 16. Both teams’ bats were on fire, as they combined for 44 hits, including seven for extra bases.

The Reds dominated with 28 hits, including five extra base hits, scoring six times in the third and adding another seven runs in the fourth. Jason Knemeyer hit three singles and a double, scored four times and knocked in two other runs. Josh Clark was close behind with four base hits, three runs scored and an RBI, followed by Keldon Harker’s grand slam home run in the fourth and a total of two runs scored and six RBIs. But the Dragons did not go quietly, as the game was back and forth heading into the third, with five lead changes. After an eight-hit, six-run second, the Dragons could only add another pair of runs in the third. Kenji Housh scored twice, while Lucas Price, Gage Kostrzewa, Tyson Housh, Zoe Hamilton, Kian Barker and Christian Bruggeman all added a run, with Bruggeman and Tallis Onfroy-Curley knocking in two others.

Saturday’s games were pushed to Sunday due to poor field conditions, and the first contest saw the Dragons get their first win, 14–10 over the Pirates, and finish the week in third place at 1–2. Tallis Onfroy-Curley led with four singles, four runs and four RBIs, followed by Conner Kostrzewa’s two runs scored and three RBIs. Cameron Bruggeman, Liam McClean and Christian Warren each scored twice, while Gage Kostrzewa and Kian Barker each crossed the plate once, with Barker’s three base hits resulting in as many RBIs. Pirate rookie Noah VanHoose led his team with three runs off four base hits, followed by Malcolm Blunt’s three singles and three runs scored. Jonas Bahn and Dyllon VanHoose each scored twice, with VanHoose adding three RBIs. Wednesday’s forfeit to the Indians left the Pirates still winless at 0–3 and in fourth place, while the Reds finished in second place with a record of 2–1.

The 2014 Major League season for youth ages 10 to 14 got off to a soggy start when the season opener on Wednesday, June 18, was called after only one inning due to a thunderstorm. That meant the first official game played out on Sunday, June 22. A total of 34 youth are participating this year and have been assigned to three teams: the Reds A, Reds B and Reds C teams. Sunday’s opening contest saw the Reds B outlast the Reds C, 12–7, in a game called due to the two-and-a-half hour time limit. The Reds B jumped out to a 2–1 lead after the first, thanks to runs scored by Ty Thompson and Albert Glover. They added two more in the second by Jackson Bleything and Josaiah Zinger-Mitchell, but fell behind after the Reds C team scored four times in the same inning. Austin Turner, Pete Freeman, Jack Runyon and Christina Elam all scored, putting the Reds C up by one, 5–4. But the Reds B roared back in the third, scoring seven runs to take the lead for good. Bleything, Thompson and Zinger-Mitchell all scored again, as did Dylan Rainey, Eamonn Carey, Liam Hackett and Colton Bittner. Strong Reds B pitching helped hold the Reds C in check, with Dylan Rainey giving up five runs on 10 hits but striking out six, while Tony Marinelli also struck out six batters, allowing just two runs on seven hits. The Reds C’s Pete Freeman went three-for-three and scored twice, with Eli Schell, Austin Turner and Eric Romohr also each adding a run. Pitcher Clay Cooper held the Reds B to only four runs on nine hits in two innings, while striking out a pair.

Minor League games are played Saturday mornings beginning at 10 a.m. and Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. Major League games are played Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. All games are played at Gaunt Park. Visit the league website at for the season’s full schedule and game results.


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