July 28, 2012
The Street Kids Mojo softball team were all geared up and ready to make their NSA "A" debut this weekend in Illinois for the "A" World Series, however, NSA and Illinois were not geared up, as the event was canceled due to lack of teams. So instead the team searched for a back up plan and found a cash festival event in Huntington, Indiana, near Fort Wayne.
With a few players now electing to take the weekend off, the Kids picked up some old friends in Brandon Dillon (R&M Metals), Jake Stambazze (Reds Boys) and Chad Melcher (Tasers) to fill in the voids and traveled to Huntington. Upon arriving at the open class event, the team was greeted with evil stares and looks as if they were thinking "what are YOU guys doing here?" But the Kids shook it off, not having any clue what kind of teams would be here, and began play around 10am.
They opened against the host directors own team and made quick work in three innings - backed by a 17-run third inning - winning 30-8. Terry Patesel, Leland Schmucker and Fred Schmucker all had four hits in the win.
In game two, the team played a little bette competition in members of New York Life, the only team on Saturday to keep the team under 15 runs, but the Kids defense stepped it up and Nick Bishop - pitching today in Faron Miller's absense - was in a New York state of mind as he held NY to just three runs. The Kids won 14-3. Jeremy Hochstetler, Brandon Dillon and Leland Schmucker all had three hits in the win.
In the third round game, the Kids came out extremely hot in the top of the first, scoring 18 runs - 16 of them in a row after Patesel led off the game with an out. The would put up 10 more over the next two innings and win 28-8. Hochstetler, Dillon, Jake Stambazze and Danny Penale all had four hits in the win.
The Kids were now in the championship game and played the same team they just beat an hour or so earlier, but this time that team picked up a few, thus being dubbed the Huntington All Stars. :) Despite the Kids coming out a little slow, they would heat up and get back to work on playing great softball, which they did all day, regardless of the competition. Jeremy Hochstetler had six hits and Jake Stambazze and Leland Schmucker chipped in with five hits each as the Kids rolled to a 32-10 win, and their 10th tournament win of the season.
"It was nice to come back here to Huntington (hometown) and play just for fun and we had a blast today," said Stambazze, who plays conference ball with Reds Astros/TPS. "We had a lot of fun mixing things up and playing different positions every inning.. it was a relaxed fun atmosphere."
Jeremy Hochstetler was named MVP, and ended the tournament with 15 consecutive hits. Brandon Dillon, Leland Schmucker, TJ Jorgensen and Jake Stambazze were all named to the All-Tournament team.
The 10th tourney win - and third win in a row following the Kiracofe and ASA "B" state championships - ties last seasons 10 tournament wins, a team record for event wins in a season. The Street Kids tournament team (58-13 in tournaments, 88-19 overall) will rest next weekend before traveling to Indianapolis for the NSA "B" state championships. Last season, Reds Astros double dipped SKS in the finals to win the NSA "B" state. The Kids are hoping to continue their hot play as of late and win their second state title of the season.