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Pirates batter Justin Nash swatted one for the team in the post-season semifinals win against the Indians Monday night. On Tuesday, the Pirates beat the Reds 14–6 for the championship title. (Photo by Lauren Heaton)

Pirates batter Justin Nash swatted one for the team in the post-season semifinals win against the Indians Monday night. On Tuesday, the Pirates beat the Reds 14–6 for the championship title. (Photo by Lauren Heaton)

Indians are Minor League champs

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They did it again: the Minor League Winds Cafe Indians repeated as regular season champions, finishing the 2014 season with a 7–1 record after taking a pair of games last week to seal the top spot for the second straight year. They opened their week with a 14–8 victory over the Tom’s Market Pirates on Wednesday, July 23, in what could be called the game of “brothers.” The Pirates jumped out to an early 6–0 lead in the top of the first on RBI singles from brothers Otto and Emmett Cipollini that scored Matt Duncan followed by two RBI base hits from brothers Shawn and Dyllon VanHoose, scoring both Cipollini brothers , and then Jonas Bahn and Shawn VanHoose respectively.

But the Indians fired up their own bats in the bottom of the first scoring five runs of their own. Krishan Miller’s RBI single scored Henry Smith-Heston. Trinidad Speck then connected on a center field line drive for a two RBI base hit sending Lucas Dunn and Luka Sage-Frabotta across the plate. Ava Schell’s fly ball to center scored Speck and Jake Ortiz-Thornton scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Sam Miller. Dunn singled again in the bottom of the second then scored to tie the game at 6–6 on Speck’s RBI base hit.

The Indians never trailed after adding five more runs in the third. Dunn’s single scored Sam Miller followed by Sage-Frabotta’s RBI base hit scoring Aiden Scavone. Then Krishan Miller’s bases loaded line drive double to center scored Smith-Heston, Dunn and Sage-Frabotta to put the Indians up 11–6. The Indians added three more in the fourth after Ortiz-Thornton doubled and then scored on Ava Schell’s home run. Sam Miller singled and then made it home on Smith-Heston’s RBI base hit. A fifth inning Pirates rally was short lived, but did include runs scored by Bahn and Otto Cipollini thanks to RBI singles from siblings Dyllon and Shawn VanHoose.

The Indians second win of the week came in a closer than it sounds 8–5 victory over the Vintage Truck Dragons on Saturday, July 26, in which Jake Ortiz-Thornton doubled in the first inning and singled in the second and third. The Indians didn’t relinquish the lead after first inning RBI singles from Trinidad Speck and Ava Schell, scoring Ortiz-Thornton and Luka Sage-Frabotta. The Dragons pushed across one run in both the first and second innings. Tallis Onfroy-Curley’s RBI single scored Cameron Bruggeman in the first and Tyson Housh’s RBI single in the second scored Christian Bruggeman that brought the Dragons within three, 5–2.

The Indians responded with three runs in the third. Ortiz-Thornton started the inning with an RBI single, scoring Brady Baker. Krishan Miller’s two RBI double then scored Smith-Heston and Sage-Frabotta. Three runs in the bottom of the fourth helped the Dragons close the deficit to 8–5. RBI singles by Zoe Hamilton, Housh and a groundout by Brady triggered Dragons’ comeback but Ortiz-Thornton ended the inning with his sixth infield put out of the game.

Earlier in the week, the Sam and Eddie’s Open Book Reds fell to the Dragons 8–7 in one of the season’s best games on Monday, July 21, that saw the teams exchange the lead seven times. The Dragons jumped out to an early 2–0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single from Liam McClean that scored Cameron Bruggeman and then a Gage Kostrzewa right field double that scored Kenji Housh. It didn’t take long for the Reds to respond as they scored four runs of their own in the first. The Reds scored on a two-RBI triple by Josh Clark and RBI singles by Joe Freeman and Natalie Galarza that scored Clark and Keldan Harker.

Strong defense from both teams held each other scoreless in the second and third until the Dragon’s Tallis Onfroy-Curley’s fourth inning line drive double to left field scored Kenji Housh followed by Rocky Warren’s infield single that scored McClean. Christian Warren then doubled, scoring both Onfroy-Curley and Rocky Warren. Jason Kneymeyer’s right field single scoring Owen Beitenhaus was followed by a Joshua Clark base hit that scored Evan Galarza and Ethan Knemeyer to put the Reds up 7–6. But the Dragons took the lead in the top of the fifth and held on for the victory. Cameron Bruggeman’s RBI single scoring Christian Bruggeman tied the game a 7–7. Then Kostrzewa’s line drive scored Tyson Housh to put the Dragons up for good at 8–7. Their much improved defense then held off a pair of Reds hits in the bottom of the fifth to secure the win. Both the Reds and the Dragons finished the season tied for second at 4–5.

Despite dropping all of the season’s other games except for a pair of forfeit wins, the Pirates finished the season on a high note with an exciting 9–8 win over the Reds on Saturday, July 26. The two teams combined for 28 hits, eight of which were for extra bases in a game with six lead changes. The Reds scored first in the top of the second on an RBI double from Cal Freeman, scoring Josh Clark, then a Joe Freeman RBI single that scored Cal Freeman and Jason Knemeyer’s RBI single that sent Joe Freeman home. The Pirates were on the board in the second thanks to Dyllon VanHoose’s single to left that scored Otto Cipollini and Matt Duncan to make it 3–2. The Reds added one in the third when Clark scored on Owen Beitenhaus’ infield base hit while the Pirates stayed close with a run of their own in the third when Scout Espinosa’s sacrifice grounder scored Noah VanHoose to make it 4–3.

But the Pirates rallied in the fourth with three runs thanks to Dyllon VanHoose’s line drive to right that scored Matt Duncan and Otto Cipollini. Shawn VanHoose’s right field single then scored brother Dyllon and the Pirates were up 6–4. The Reds then roared back with four runs in the fifth thanks to Jason Knemeyer’s RBI base hit scoring Cal Freeman, Keldan Harker’s RBI single that scored sister Areya and Clark’s left field double that scored both Jason and Ethan Knemeyer to put the Reds in front 8–6. But the never-give-up Pirates rally continued as Jonas Bahn and Matt Duncan scored to tie the game at 8 on Otto Cipollini’s double. Then Dyllon VanHoose’s triple scored Cipollini for the winning run.

See the league website at for results of the post season tournament played earlier this week. Thanks to all for a great 2014 season!


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