The Mathews Ford Oregon Jr. Eagles baseball team captured the Seventh Annual Dusty Gloves tournament at the William P. Coontz Athletic Complex in Oregon with a thrilling come from behind 11-10 win over the Power Red baseball team.
This game, in the 9-and-under age division, featured the only two local teams to make it to a championship game in the tournament, held April 24-27.
Champions were also crowned in the 10U age division where the Michigan Blue Jays defeated the Adrian Dirtbags; in the 11U age division with the Adrian Dirtbags beating the Bryan Jr. Bears; and in the 12U age division that saw the Bryan Jr. Bears down the Bedford Diamond Dogs.
Easily the highest attendance for a single game in the tournament was the 9U championship game between the local area teams, the Mathews Ford Jr. Eagles and Power Red. The game had been preceded by an earlier 7-5 win by Power over Mathews Ford in the round-robin tournament format. It was standing room only around the baseball field as the bleachers were filled with fans.
Power appeared headed for the title with running out to a 7-3 lead after 2½ innings, but Mathews Ford battled back to close the score to 7-6 by the end of four innings.
In the fifth inning Power added a solo run to lead 8-6, and Mathews Ford rallied for two to tie the game at 8-8 in the bottom half. The game went to extra innings where Power tallied two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but again Mathew Ford responded to tie the game forcing an eighth inning.
There, after Power failed to score, Mathews Ford's Tyler Weseman was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. He advanced to second on a stolen base and then stole third. At the plate was Michael Eversman, who then delivered a long hit over the head of the right fielder plating Weseman for the 11-10 Jr. Eagles victory.
“The game featured excellent pitching by Power's Jerimiah Duvall and Mathews Ford's Evin Baker,” said Jr. Eagles coach Jerry Eversman.
Duvall had two hits and a walk offensively for his team with his teammates Dylan Neal going 3-for-4, and A.J. D'Amore adding two hits for Power. Mathews Ford was led at the plate by Noah Miller who had four hits in five times at the plate and Conner Wuertz who was 3-for-5. Baker and Michael Eversman each were 2-for-5 at the plate.
"I'd like to tip my hat to the Dusty Gloves tournament officials and the Oregon Recreation Department for hosting this event, again,” Coach Eversman said. “This tournament brought a number of teams to our city and I know it was a boost for area businesses.
“About our game, I was really proud of the way our players battled back three times to tie the game and finally win it in the eighth. Power is a good ballclub. For the families and friends, it was an exciting youth baseball game, that's for sure."
In all, 24 teams took part in the tournament conducted by the Independent Umpires Association headed by John Meyer and Joe Miller. Participating travel baseball teams came from all over Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
The 2014 Dusty Gloves 9U Baseball Tournament Champions — Mathews Ford Jr. Eagles. Front row (L to R) Tyler Weseman, Noah Miller, Landon Eversman, Drew Salisbury, Anthony Barnes, Hunter Thomas, and Easton Schick. Middle row — Evin Baker, Owen Hill, Michael Eversman, Conner Wuertz, Marcus Rahm, and Luke Witte. Back row (L to R) coaches Zach Barnes, Jerry Eversman, Rob Thomas, and Mike Miller.
Mathews Ford Jr. Eagles pitcher Evin Baker delivers a fastball to the plate. Landon Eversman is in the background in center field. Baker earned the win pitching five innings in the championship game.
Luke Witte, Mathews Ford Jr. Eagles, (foreground) leads off second base while shortstop Micah Medina, Power Red, looks in from behind Witte.