The Class “D” tournament in the Southern Hills Youth League turned out to be one that went as far as it could go in a battle between the Manchester Greyhounds and the Peebles Indians. In the double elimination tourney, Peebles had knocked off Manchester 2-1 early, leaving the Greyhounds to battle their way out of the loser’s bracket. A win over a tough North Adams squad propelled the Hounds into the final round where they had to beat Peebles twice to take the tourney title.
The two teams met for the championship last Wednesday night and the Greyhounds eked out a 9-8 victory to force a final and deciding game on Friday night, to be played at the Knothole field in Peebles. Friday night belonged to the Greyhounds as they battled all the way back to a tournament championship, shutting out Peebles 7-0 behind the strong right arm of Karson Reaves to take the “D” league title.
The “D” league rules may be a bit different than most fans may be used to, as there are no walks allowed in the games. If the pitcher throws four balls, then a coach enters the field to finish the at-bat, with the batter having three swings to put the ball in play. On Friday night, Peebles never got many opportunities for the coach to come on as Reaves was firing bullets for strikes all night.
The Hounds wasted no time in the deciding game, breaking out the bats to plate three runs in the top half of the first inning.Reaves silenced the Peebles bats as the first 11 Indians to come to the plate were retired.
Leading 3-0, the Hounds added another trio of runs in the top of the third. Denton White led off with a base hit to right and one out later a triple to right by Aaron Lucas made it 4-0. Lucas came home when Jackson Poole reached on an error and Poole later scored an RBI hit off the bat of Reaves and the Hounds had a big 6-0 advantage.
After Ethan Beekman started the game for Peebles, Byron Stephens came on in the top of the fourth. In that top of the fourth, the Hounds threatened with an infield hit by Logan Neria and and base hit right off the third base bag by Trenton Rigdon, but a come backer to Stephens and a strikeout snuffed out the rally.
Ther Indians finally got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth, not off the offerings of Reaves but instead that of a coach, when Zane Porter lined a base hit to right with two out. Reaves stepped back to the mound and struck out Remington Beckham to keep the Indians off the board.
In the fifth and final inning, the Greyhounds added one more when Lucas led off with a base hit and later scored on a Peebles error, making it 7-0. Later in the inning, the Hounds loaded the bases but Stephens was able to work out of further trouble.
In what turned out to be their final at-bat of the 2014 season, the Indians got a two-out triple down the right field line from Stephens, the only hit off of Reaves, but he went no further as Keltin Robinson popped out to first baseman Jackson Poole and the Greyhounds and their fans were off to celebrate a “D” league tournament championship, taking the finale 7-0 and giving Manchester tournament championships in both the “D” and “C” divisions of the SHYL.
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Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.