Tecumseh wins Wooden Bat tourney, splits with Hanover Horton
By MICKEY ALVARADOPitching was sound and defense was solid for Tecumseh’s varsity baseball team at the Wooden Bat Tournament at Jackson High School on Saturday, May 28. The Indians beat Jackson Western 9-5 in the championship game to win the title.Jackson Western beat Mason 2-1 to open the tournament. Tecumseh followed with a 10-0 shutout over Mason in just six innings.Jacob Britt earned the pitching win, throwing five innings and allowing two hits while striking out three. Nick Cowen pitched one inning of relief and struck out two batters.The Indians’ offense was led by Max Patterson (2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI), Stephen Bilotta (2-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI, double) and Michael Skelton (1-for-3, 2 RBI, double)Phil Carey earned the pitching win in the championship game over Jackson Western. He threw four innings and gave up four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out six. Kyle Hooper picked up the save after three innings of work, allowing one run on three hits while walking one and striking out three.Matt Napieralski went 3-for-4, (2 runs, RBI, double) to lead the Indians’ offense while Jake Moore was 2-for-3 (3 runs, 2-run home run). Brad Vannatter (2 for 4, double, 3 RBI) and Jacob Britt (2 for 4, double) added two runs each.“Our pitchers threw strikes and our defense was solid today,” said Tecumseh coach Tom Bullinger. “We hit the ball real well with the wood bats as well. It was good to see a complete team effort in our games today. Everyone contributed to the wins and I liked how hard we played. The kids executed all day long.”The day after Memorial Day, Tuesday, May 31, Tecumseh split a pair of contests with visiting Hanover Horton, winning game one 12-1 in five innings and losing game two 14-10 in seven innings.The Comets took a 1-0 lead to open game one with starting pitcher Eric Eldred trying to get settled on the mound. Once he closed out the top of the first he was given tons of support in the way of home runs. The Indians came out swinging in the bottom of the inning and jumped all over the opposing pitcher. The smooth swing of Stephen Bilotta belted out a three-run home run and Jacob Britt gave the Indians back-to-back home runs by blasting out another ball for a 4-1 lead. Matt Napieralski hit an RBI single and the Comets pulled their starting pitcher in the opening inning.Max Patterson was the first to face the new pitcher and he wasn’t intimidated at all. He belted out a three-run home run to give the Indians an 8-1 advantage.Tecumseh added three more runs in the second inning, two on walks. A home run by Jake Moore put the Indians ahead 12-1 by the end of the fourth inning. Solid defense in the fifth inning closed the door on the Comets. Bilotta scooped up a ground ball and threw to Moore who relayed the ball to first for a double play. A pop fly ended the game and Eldred recorded his first varsity win. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out four in five innings.Max Patterson (2.2 ip, 9 runs, 8 hits, 2 BB, 2 K's) recorded the pitching loss in game two. Nick Cowen went in on relief (4.1 ip, 5 runs, 0 earned, 3 hits, 3 BB, 2 K's) for the Indians.“We hit the ball well in both games today,” said Tecumseh coach Tom Bullinger. “Hanover just hit the ball better in the second game. We left too many guys on base in that second game as well.Recording hits for Tecumseh were Britt (2 for 3, 2 runs, HR), Napieralski (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Moore (1-for-1, 2 BB, 2 Run HR), Bilotta (1-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBI, 3 run HR), Patterson (3 Run HR) and Brendan Diroff (2-for-3, double).“In the first game we didn't strand too many base runners. Having four guys hit home runs helps, but guys were getting on base all game long and Eric pitched well in his first varsity win.”Tecumseh (17-12 overall, 9-5 SEC) had 11 hits in game two. George Preston (2-for-3, double, RBI), Eric Eldred (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Kyle Hooper (2-for-3, RBI), Jake Moore (2-for-5, 3 RBI) and Bilotta (double, 2 runs) each recorded hits for Tecumseh.