PITTSBURG — Celebration quickly ensued on Cheryle Stice Field after Midwest Minerals recorded the final out of the Dick Webb championship game to earn a 12-8 win against T&C Wildlife on Wednesday.
The Knights capped off a long season and a competitive tournament with a four-run victory in the championship game on the strength of a hot night at the plate and sound defense.
“They came out from the get-go playing hard,” Midwest Minerals head coach Chris Bettega said. “We hit the ball well every game and our defense was solid all year. Everybody did their job and everybody filled their roles. Everybody was apart of it and everybody participated. That’s what made us a great team.”
An early, four-run lead for Midwest Minerals vanished after the Mudhens tied the game in the third inning, but the Knights regained control of the contest with a grand slam off the bat Ben Cullen in the fourth and held on for the win.
“This game, our bats came around and we had some excellent defense by Dakota Hunt and Brady Bettega on the left side of the infield. Everybody hit the ball and Ben Cullen’s grand slam really opened up the game for us and helped us take a comfortable lead. It was a big-time hit in that situation.”
The Mudhens drew first blood with a run in the opening frame on an RBI single to right field by Brock Wiemers, but the Knights responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-1 lead.
The inning was highlighted by a pair of RBI singles from Brady Bettega and Slate Wells.
Midwest Minerals extended the lead to four runs in the second inning on a two-run double by Will Schremmer, before T&C Wildlife tied the game at 5-all with four runs in the third.
The four-run inning included an RBI double to left field by Jaeden Beltran and RBI base hits from J.T. Redd, Wiemers and Landen Proffitt.
The Knights regained the lead at 7-5 in their half of the inning with two runs on a pair of RBI singles from Jamarcus Davis and Marsean Hall.
Antonio Rojo got one run back for T&C Wildlife after coming into score on a defensive miscue in the fourth inning, but the Knights struck four five runs in the bottom half to cushion the lead to 12-6.
The Knights scored four of their five runs in the fourth on the strength of a grand slam off the bat of Cullen and added one more run on an RBI single by Hall.
The Mudhens plated two runs in the fifth inning on a pair of RBIs by Wiemers and Beltran, but couldn’t complete the rally in the sixth.
MIDWEST MINERALS AT THE PLATE
Cullen was the offensive catalyst, driving in four runs on one swing of the bat at a critical point in the ballgame.
Schremmer and Hall also had a night to remember, each driving in two runs on three hits apiece.
T&C WILDLIFE AT THE PLATE
Wiemers was the offensive standout, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Redd and Proffitt were also seeing the ball well, each with three hits and an RBI apiece.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.