August 11, 2012
Despite missing reinging MVP Jay Jeffery and left fielder Scott Martin, the Street Kids Mojo team traveled to Indianapolis on Saturday for the NSA "B" state championship, an event they finished second in last year, after being double dipped in the finals by Reds Astros. This year, they were coming off their third straight tourney win and looking to finally be on the right path in the post season. But things would unravel quickly for the newly crowned ASA "B" state champs.
Joe Horvath complained before the start of the first game against Silvertowne of being light headed and not feeling well. After ripping a triple to center, Horvath sat on the dugout bench and said he needed to come out of the game. He would make one pinch hit appearance later, but Horvath was out for the tournament, eliminating one of the Kids hardest hitters.
Silvertowne put up runs often on the Kids, and after three innings, led 18-2. But Street Kids would battle back over the next several innings and head into the bottom of the seventh inning down 25-19 and looking for another rally. Tim Austin doubled, followed by Leland Schmuckers single and Fred Schmucker doubled in another run. New SKS outfielder Chad Melcher drew a walk and then Faron Miller and Nick Bishop both drove in runs with sac flies. After Terry Patesel singled, Jeremy Hochstetler came to the plate representing the tying run, but Silvertowne would find a way to retire Hochstetler, giving them a thrillig 25-23 win.
With the loss the Kids dropped to the losers bracket and were facing Wildman, a team they have faced many times before and always have good battles with. This one was ugly for both teams, but Wildman did hold a 12-4 lead into the sixth inning. But once again, Street Kids rallied, putting up eight runs in the sixth to tie the game at 12. Wildman would get a two run home run in the bottom of the sixth to take a 14-12 lead, and SKS would need to rally again. Faron Miller doubled for his eighth hit of the tournament, bringing the tying run to the plate with only one out. But Nick Bishop and Terry Patesel would fly out for the second and third outs to end the game, giving Wildman a 14-12 win.
"Tough losses for sure," said TJ Jorgensen. "I really don't think missing a couple guys made a huge difference, because we have always stepped up with players, but when Joe went down early, it did take a little out of us. I thought we showed some life in both games, coming back from huge deficit twice, but we also struggled quite a bit on both sides of the ball and good teams know how to take advantage. We'll put this one behind us and get ready for GSL state in a couple of weeks."
There were only a few standouts for SKS on Saturday, including Faron Miller who not only pitched well, but went a perfect 8-for-8 at the plate. Fred Schmucker went 7-for-9 and Tony Hardiman came in for Joe Horvath and went 6-for-8.
Street Kids (92-21 overall; 58-15 in tournaments) saw their 11-game tournament win streak come to an end but will look to rebound in two weeks in Valparaiso at the GSL B/C state championship. They will play in the Elkhart Summer League tournament this Wednesday. With a bye, they play at 8pm.