Team Latos routs Ripley 24-4, Knothole tournament play begins this weekend –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Though it seems to be happening far too soon, regular season play for local Knothole baseball teams is wrapping up this week and one of the finales took place on Tuesday night in Peebles. In the 14U division, which old-school purists called “B” ball, Peebles (Team Latos) played host to Ripley in their final tune-up before tournament action begins this weekend.
It really wasn’t much of a tune-up for the Peebles squad as they used a big 10-run first inning to roll to a 24-4 run-rule win in four innings over the Blue Jays, improving Team Latos to 9-3 on the season.
The home team used a quartet of right handers in the win, with Devon Roepke, Logan Mahan, Bryce Willoughby, and Easton Wesley dividing up the duties. Roepke fired a scoreless first inning, bringing his offense to the plate to put up a double digit frame, combining 15 hitters and five hits, and taking advantage of eight walks issued by Ripley pitching.
The bottom of the first began with Dawson Mills doubling to left, Wyatt Cluxton drawing a walk, and Logan Mahan singling to left, driving both runners home. A triple to left center by Easton Wesley brought Mahan home and after a walk to Zane Knechtly, a three-bagger down the left field line by Brennan Kyle drove home Wesley and Knechtly to make it 5-0.
A base hit to right by Roepke drove in Kyle with the sixth run, followed by a walk to Braxton Smart and a strikeout of Mason Lewis, which turned out to be the only out recorded by Ripley in the entire at-bat. A free pass to Bryce Willoughby filled the bases and then back-to-back walks to Mills and Cluxton each forced home runs.
Trailing by eight runs, the Blue Jays made a pitching change and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Mahan drove in another run. Finally, a bases loaded walk to Knechtly force home run number 10, which is the limit by rule.
In the top of the second, Mahan pitched a 1-2-3 frame, aided by a nice running stab in left field by Mills. That brought the Peebles offense back to the dish and they picked right up where they left off.
Kyle reached on an error, followed by a base hit to center by Roepke, and when Smart reached on another Ripley miscue, Kyle came home to make it 11-0. An infield hit by Lewis brought Roepke across and a later base hit to center by Cluxton drove home two more.
Mahan drew a walk and a Wesley poke to right scored two more to make it 16-0. An infield hit by Knechtly sent another run across before the Jays got out of the inning with a double play, but not before Team Latos had increased their huge advantage to 17-0.
Ripley avoided the shutout by scoring four times off of Willoughby in the top half of the third, but Peebles answered that by putting up another seven-spot in the bottom half to extend their lead to 20 runs.
Wesley came to the mound in the top of the fourth, held the Jays scoreless, and the run rule was enforced, with Peebles claiming win number nine by the final count of 24-4.
Peebles now heads into 14U tournament play, in a bracket that could turn out quite interesting, with Eastern having handed Team Latos two of their losses on the season, and the other was a one-run defeat to Manchester, who Peebles edged out by one-run in walk-off fashion in the rematch.