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Written by David Ayres   
Monday, 22 June 2015 20:25

On Saturday June 6th, the first of 4 regionals for the NWLA tournament was hosted at Flescher Park.  Your KWL Keggers had to play 4 games to attempt to qualify for 1 of 8 at large bids for the national tourney in July.  The games had a 45 minute time limit and each team received either 2 points for a win or 1 point for a tie. 

 

The Game 1 opponent was the ISWB Moonshots and the Keggers wasted no time welcoming them to Kalamazoo.  AJ Tate was on the mound and even though there was the glaring absence of his signature orange swimming shorts, his well-known dominance was on display.  He walked the leadoff batter then proceeded to strike out the side.  In the bottom of the 1st the Keggers batted around twice scoring 7 runs, capped off by Mark Ford’s grand slam.  Needless to say the rest of the game was academic as AJ had all the run support he needed but the offense kept the foot on the gas and put up 14 runs in the 2nd and another 12 in the 3rd.  The final score was the Keggers 33 the Moonshots 0.  Tate allowed 1 hit, 1 walk and had 9 K’s to pick up the win.  The onslaught of offense was anchored by Ford’s 2 grand slams.  Zac Milbourne and Josh Rhoton also had 2 home runs and Mike Hogan had 3.

 

Game 2 brought Mike Hogan to the mound where he faced off with the defending champions and fellow in state league, the WSEM Dads.  This was expected to be a low scoring pitcher's duel and it didn’t disappoint.  The Keggers threatened in the 1st getting the bases loaded but were unable to come away with any runs.  Hogan cruised through the first two innings but gave up a solo shot in the 3rd.  AJ Tate responded with a HR of his own in the top of the 4th to tie the game at 1.  The Dads managed to manufacture a run in the 5th off of a couple hits to give them the eventual 2-1 victory.  Hogan had 9 strikeouts but didn’t get the offensive help and took a tough loss.

 

Game 3 saw David Ayres take on the BWACS Lot Lizards and the offense was back to raking the ball.  After a scoreless top of the 1st, the Keggers put a 10 spot on the board behind a 3 run blast from Josh Rhoton and a grand slam From Zac Milbourne.  The lot lizards managed to score a run in both the 2nd and 3rd innings off of Ayres but the Keggers answered each time adding 5 more total runs to win the game 15-2.  Ayres gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 7 to get the win and the offense was led by Zac Milbourne’s 2 grand slams and 9 RBI’s.

 

Game 4 had Jordan Buckallew toeing the rubber against the GBL Paw Chests.  The offense was slow to get started but Buck was up to the challenge recording 9 strikeouts in the first 3 innings.  Finally the Kegger bats woke up and scored 6 runs in the 4th anchored by Josh Rhoton’s grand slam.  Zac Milbourne added another grand slam in the 5th en route to a 13-0 victory to end the regionals.  Buckallew scattered 2 hits and struck out 14 for the victory.  Rhoton and Hogan each had 3 hits to lead the Keggers.

 

Finishing the Day at 3-1 with 6 points virtually guaranteed us a spot in the national tournament, which was confirmed after the second regional was completed the following day.  The Keggers finished with a team batting average of .414.  The 15 team HR’s were 2 shy of the total of the other 4 teams combined and 7 Grand Slams were hit.

 

The next stop is the national tournament in Columbus, Ohio on July 17-19.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 20:30
 
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