07-05-2018 Tri-City Area Sports

All-Star tourney wraps up, local champions crowned

Mother Nature wanted a piece of the Hartford Council for Recreation’s All-Star tournament and she got it, both on the front and back ends. Originally scheduled to begin Friday, June 22, the tournament was postponed because of rain. Games shifted to a Saturday, June 23 start instead. But, Mother Nature wasn’t done leaving her mark. The 12U championship game had to be moved from Tuesday, June 26 to Wednesday, June 27 after rain waters flooded the field.

In the end, however, host Hartford won championship titles in both 12U and 14U divisions.

NOW THAT’S SPORTMANSHIP… Watervliet and Hartford’s 14U all-star teams joined together for a team photo following play Tuesday, June 26. Hartford nipped Watervliet for the 14U championship, but both teams showed what true sportsmanship is all about. (Photo courtesy of A&A Sports Photography)

In 8U action, River Valley claimed the championship hardware after rolling through the bracket undefeated.  The Mustangs sported a 4-0 record after defeating Gobles, South Haven, and Watervliet twice.

In the semi-final game that saw the Panthers take on the host Indians, Watervliet won 13-9 to move on to the finals. River Valley shut out Watervliet 14-0 for the title of 8U champions. Coloma won the 8U sportsmanship award.

Coloma went 1-3 in the tourney and finished sixth overall. They beat Decatur 19-4 but lost to South Haven (15-11), Gobles (9-7), and South Haven (16-4).

Watervliet ended the tournament in the runner-up spot with a 3-2 record. Watervliet’s wins came against Paw Paw (14-6), Hartford (17-3), and Hartford (13-9). Watervliet’s two losses were to River Valley (16-8 and 14-0).

Hartford closed out their season with a 3-2 record and took third place. The Indians tallied wins over Decatur (15-0), Gobles (18-9), and South Haven (12-11). Hartford suffered two losses at the bats of Watervliet (17-3 and 13-9).

Other teams participating included champion River Valley, Decatur, Gobles, Paw Paw and South Haven.

In 10U competition, River Valley laid claim to that championship title as well. Four teams participated in the 10U division: Hartford, Lawrence, River Valley and South Haven.

River Valley tallied a 5-3 win over Hartford Monday, June 25 for the championship.  The Mustangs were undefeated with a 3-0 record.

Hartford settled for second place with a 2-2 record after they notched wins over Lawrence twice. The Indians lost to River Valley twice.

The 2018 tournament sportsmanship award in 10U went to Lawrence.

Hartford repeated as champions in the 12U division. The Indians went 5-1 in the tourney and topped South Haven twice Wednesday, June 27 for the title. Joining Hartford in the championship hunt was Decatur, Dowagiac, Paw Paw and South Haven.

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, the championship games had to be postponed until Wednesday, June 27 due to a flooded field. The reschedule didn’t throw off Hartford, as they won both games to beat South Haven.

Hartford had wins against Decatur (24-4) and two against Dowagiac (8-7 and 12-4). The Indians lost to South Haven 12-10. On the final night of play, Hartford needed two wins against South Haven for the title.  In the early game, Hartford won 10-7 to force a second, final championship match. The Indians got the 6-3 and the trophy!

Dowagiac received the 2018 team sportsmanship award in 12U.

The 14U division found Bridgman, Dowagiac, Gobles, Hartford, North Lincoln, and Watervliet all tangling for the trophy.

It was Hartford who came from behind to beat Watervliet in the final two games of the tournament.

The two squads met Tuesday, June 26 for the championship game. Watervliet headed into the game undefeated at 2-0, while Hartford had to work through the loser’s bracket following an early loss to Dowagiac.

In the first contest, Hartford scraped by with a 9-7 win to force game two. The late contest saw Hartford come up big against the Panthers and tally the 6-3 victory and the 14U division championship.

Watervliet finished second in the division but was awarded the tournament team sportsmanship award.

Watervliet had a 2-2 record to end their outing at Hartford. They beat Bridgman (8-2) and Dowagiac (8-7) before losing twice to Hartford.

Hartford racked up a 6-1 record with two wins over Watervliet as well as victories against Bridgman (8-2), North Lincoln (14-3), Gobles (8-6), and Dowagiac (3-1). In their only loss of the tourney, Hartford fell to Dowagiac 5-4.

Tremblay takes the field as coach at Comerica Park

Josh Tremblay, coach of the Watervliet varsity baseball team, received a huge honor last week as he was selected by his fellow coaching peers of the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association to coach the East/West All-Star game at Comerica Park Friday, June 29.

WHAT AN HONOR! Watervliet varsity baseball coach Josh Tremblay was honored by his fellow Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association peers and selected to coach the East/West All-Star baseball game held at Comerica Park.

The two teams consist of senior high school baseball players and are also voted on by coaches. Tremblay was selected to coach the West team. It marks the first time Tremblay has had the honor.

“It’s a great feeling to be chosen for his honor by your peers and other coaches. There are a lot of former players and coaches I’ve been involved with to thank for something like this,” Tremblay stated before the game.

Tremblay stepped onto the field at Comerica Park and went to work coaching the best seniors in baseball in the 37th annual MHSBCA All-Star game.  The East topped the West 7-4 but made four errors in the game.

Tremblay coached shortstop Thomas Eitniear to the All-Star MVP title.

Tremblay was also treated to dinner and received a plaque of recognition.

According to Tremblay, “It was an unbelievable experience!”

Hooterville Hitters exact revenge on House of David Echoes

Forgive them for being a little excited… and taking advantage of some generosity offered by their opponents. The Hooterville Hitters, Watervliet’s hometown vintage base ball team, topped the visiting House of David Echoes at Hays Park Saturday night by a score of 8-6. But, the Hitters’ win wasn’t based on their talent alone. The umpire was generous and limited his calling of third strikes, and the Echoes may have duffed a couple balls to give the Hitters a chance to get on base.

It was appreciated, as Hooterville finally notched a victory over the Echoes.

The Echoes won the coin toss and elected to begin the game in the field. Prior to the toss, both coaching staff members agreed to play a shortened game of five innings due to the heat.

Making up the 2018 lineup for the Hitters were Mike Noack, Livia Boughner, Candy Evett, Courtney Little, Ellie Troyer, Zoe Smith, Rochelle Ulleg, Evan Orlando, Cody Nearpass, Patrick Shoemaker, Michael Atherton, Stacy Denton, Nick Orlando, and Dominick Klein.

Noack led off the first inning for the Hitters with a single. Boughner also reached first base on a single but Noack was out at second on the fielder’s choice.  Evett hit back to the pitcher for the second out of the inning. Little also returned the ball to the pitcher and the Hitters closed out their half of the first with no runs.

The Echoes didn’t let any grass grow as they scored three runs in the first inning.

Hooterville got on the scoreboard in the second inning as they tallied two aces (vintage base ball speak for scored two runs). Troyer started the inning with a single. Smith followed with a single of her own. Ulleg hit into a fielder’s choice but advance Troyer to third.  Evan Orlando came up big and scored the Hitters’ first run of the game on a single. Klein hit a single and Noack followed that up with his own shot that scored Orlando.  Klein was out on a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Heading into the second inning, Hooterville trailed 3-2.

ORLANDO SLAM-O… Hooterville Hitters star Evan Orlando crushes a hit in his first at bat Saturday evening as the Hitters faced the House of David Echoes in a vintage base ball game. Orlando had three hits on the night and scored twice. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

The Echoes managed just one hit in the bottom of the second inning, as the Hooterville defense was impressive.

In the third inning, Hooterville scored one run. Nick Orlando got aboard the bags following his single. He moved to second on a single and then Shoemaker hit into a fielder’s choice to move him to third. It was Ulleg with the RBI as Hooterville tied the game at 3-3.

The Echoes added one run in the third to retake the lead 4-3.

The Hitters garnered singles from Atherton and Noack in the fourth but were unable to add a run. They then limited the Echoes to just one run and continued to trail 5-3.

Hooterville’s best inning was the fifth as they scored five runs. The lineup was juggled but everyone from Smith to Nearpass bagged a base. At the middle of five, Hooterville led 8-5.

With three outs remaining, the Hitters held their collective breaths. Hooterville hurler (pitcher) Ulleg did a great job of giving the Echoes difficult pitches to hit. The Echoes tallied one final hit in the fifth inning and fell 8-6 to Hooterville.

The Hitters and Echoes play one game a year as part of the city of Watervliet’s 4th of July festivities. The Hitters’ season of one game is