The Ajax Spartans Bantam Elite team went down to Michigan over the weekend to come back with the trophy. The beat a very good 5 Tool Baseball team in the final game at Theunissen Stadium of Central Michigan University in a near flawless game 2 - 1.
The team started off slow in their first game of the round robin, falling behind 7-1 against last year's winners, Capital City Kings. Things started to turn around by the 4th inning. A couple of timely hits, excellent defense and solid pitching brought the team back to 7 - 4 going into the bottom of the 7th. We quickly loaded the bases and Tyler West brought in our first run on a ground out. With two outs Kai Hoek drove the first pitch he saw into left field to score two more. Next up was Landon Bentley, who immediately followed that up with a base hit into right, scoring Justin Carinci and Kai for the walk off win.
This gave the team enormous momentum going into the second game. Playing perfect baseball, the team defeated the Phantom Baseball Team 8 - 0. Michael Asselin and Max Stewart combined for a 1 hit shut out, striking out 5, giving up 1 hit, with only 2 walks. Great pitching from those two.
Next up was the 5 Tool Baseball 15U team. The game was a pitching duel. Both Colby Anderson and the opposing pitcher went the distance. Colby struck out 2, walked none and gave up just 2 runs. Amazing performance. Unfortunately the team could only deliver one run on three hits, as they lost a close game 2 - 1.
The record in pool play gave us the bye going into the play offs, where we ended up facing the Phantom Baseball team for the second time. Phantom quickly jumped ahead 2 - 0 in the top of the first, but after going through our entire batting order in the bottom of the first, we scored 10 to put this game out of reach right away. Final 15 - 2.
The final was played in the Central Michigan University Stadium. On the other side of the bracket, 5 Tool Baseball had managed to get by the undefeated Detroit Crush team to face us. The game became a carbon copy of the first time the teams faced each other. Great pitching, excellent defense, timely hitting and lots of hustle. Landon Bentley was on the mount for Ajax, pitching an absolute gem for 5 innings. He struck out 6, walked just 1 and gave up 1 run. What a performance. Mitch Ireland came on in the six for the save, pitching 2 clean innings. Behind the plate, Ethan Boisvert was flawless, with no passed balls over 7 innings and not allowing a single steal all game. Charlie Luukkonen continued to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 2.
The game went back and forth with neither team giving in. Stellar defence in the outfield by centerfielder Jorgen Groves kept Ajax in the game. 5 Tool went up 1 - 0 in the top of the third, but Ajax mounted their comeback in the bottom of the 5th. Landon led off with a single to right, Cam Noble walked and Wyatt Groves advanced the runners with a massive blast to center. Landon then took advantage of a throwing error by the opposing short stop to score the first run. Next up was Cameron Lugtenburg, who hit a perfect ground ball to score Cam for the winning run.
Attached Team Photo
from left to right, back to front
Back row: Martyn Hoek, Mike Asselin, Charlie Luukkonen, Landon Bentley, Max Stewart, Mitch Ireland, Kai Hoek, Cam Lugtenburg, Jack Bentley, Cam Noble, Andy Luukkonen
Middle row: Ethan Boisvert, Tyler West, Wyatt Groves, Michael Asselin, Colby Anderson
Front row: Jorgen Groves, Justin Carinci