Peewee Knights Compete in Annual Port Dover Tournament
The Peewee Kingsville Knights traveled to Port Dover over the weekend for the annual Sailors, May tournament.
Their first opponent was a spunky Belle River Braves squad who played well and kept the game close early on, leading 1-0 after two innings.
Rookie, #23 Josh Allsop got the ball rolling in the top of the 3rd with a hard hit that was too hot for the Belle River shortstop to handle.
#26 Ethan Baker followed with a single of his own, allowing #35 Sebastian Dunford to lay down a SAC bunt, scoring a run.
After a walk by #9 Griffin Dyck, #24 Owen Grieve ripped a double into right-centre field, putting the Knights on top 4-1.
From there, #27 Gannon Hunter cracked his second hit of the game, #17 Ian MacPherson worked a walk and then #31 Ben Nemeth rapped a single into right-centre which scored two more runs and put Kingsville on top 6-1.
At the bottom of the next inning and with the two runners on and only one out, MacPherson made a great play at the fence to snag a foul ball, followed by a sliding grab off a hard grounder to end the inning.
Backed by the strong pitching of the games starter, #3 Gavin LeBrun and relievers Grieve and #42 Matthew Cornies, the Knights walked away victorious with a 10-4 victory.
Grieve was selected as the game's MVP with a single, double and 3 RBI.
In their next game, the Knights took on the Tillsonburg Otters in what would be another close, tense game.
With the Knights leading 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth-inning, Nemeth started off the inning by taking one for the team, getting plunked by a pitch. Dunford then worked a walk when#12 Tristin Pillon cracked a hard shot to the shortstop which allowed Nemeth to score. #20 Jamie Thiessen hammered a ball at the Otters third-basemen causing an error, allowing Dunford to scratch another run across the board.
At the top of the 5th inning and with curfew approaching, the Otters had runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out when the next Otter hitter ripped a line-drive into shallow centerfield.
Cornies charged the ball and slid to make a great catch to record the out. Showing great baseball instincts he then fired the ball to second-base, doubling-up the runner who had sprinted towards third base, ending the inning and breaking Otters fans hearts across the globe.
That was all the offense the Knights would need as starting pitcher Hunter along with relievers Dunford and Pillon did the rest to secure a hard-fought 6-3 victory for the Knights.
Cornies was awarded the games MVP for his strong defensive play in centerfield. He would also contribute at the plate with a walk, run and RBI.
Their third game would be against another undefeated team, the Uxbridge Grizzlies.
Griffin Dyck started on the mound and provided 2 strong innings before the ball was handed to LeBrun and eventually MacPherson.
Unfortunately, due to a few early-season guffaws and a couple of seeing-eye singles, the boys found themselves down 10-2 late in the game.
The Knights are a resilient bunch though, and in the 5th inning, they made a surge to get themselves back in the game.
Cornies led-off the inning with a walk, followed by a triple by Dyck. Grieve knocked him in with a single and soon the floodgates were wide open. MacPherson and Dunford contributed singles, and an error on a Thiessen ground-ball helped score three more runs making it a 10-7 game.
With curfew about to expire, the Knights were able to shutdown the Grizzlies at the top of the inning and get back to the sticks.
LeBrun started the inning with a line-drive to centre field, Cornies followed with a single and Dyck walked.
With only one out and the Knights pressing, Grieve stepped to the plate and hammered a line-drive up the middle. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies pitcher made a great play, snagging the ball and doubling-off a runner who had no chance of getting back to the base, ending the game.
Dyck was awarded the games MVP for his strong pitching and going 2-for-2 at the plate with a single, triple and a walk.
Sadly, despite possessing a 2-and-1 record, the Knights finished 2nd in their division and failed to qualify for the playoff round.
From there, the team headed back into Port Dover for a team supper at Southside Louie's where time seemed to stand still as the players enjoyed celebrating the first tournament of the season.
The coaches are very proud of how well the players performed and are looking forward to seeing them grow and develop throughout the season.