The Bantam Major u15 and Bantam Minor u14 Black Sox each brought home a pair of wins against the North Bay Stingers this past weekend, May 25-26th. First action of the weekend at Sinclair Yards saw Chris Walls’ Major Bantam team take home a 12-5 win.
“Our boys are working hard at being aggressive at the plate and putting pressure on the defense” said Ash Hopf, assistant coach. Hopf, who played Soo Minor Baseball in his youth, has worked primarily with outfielders and hitting during his tenure. “Developing mental preparation and routines have helped our players adjust at the plate.”
Lucas Malcolm picked up 3 hits, while Avery Kalliomaa drove in 3 RBI in the contest.
“We can become a great hitting team with hard work and a willingness to battle during every at-bat,” Hopf emphasized.
Game two was led by Matthew Gagne, who recorded 5 and 2/3rd innings of one-hit baseball, as the Sox went on to win 10-0. Gagne, a returning player for the Sox, uses the rarely seen “knuckleball” as his primary pitch. Matthew Gagne is the first knuckleballer in the local program since alumni Trevor Sayers pitched for the Soo in 2012.
Game three saw the u14 Bantam Minor team get in on the action, beating North Bay 11-3. Jaxon Alexander took the win on the mound, going 3 scoreless innings while striking out 4. Jaxon was joined by relief pitchers Wes Pomeroy and Michael Hapanovich who combined for a team “one-hitter”.
The Minor Bantam team is led by returning coach Marc Caruso. Caruso, a Black Sox alumnus, stresses positional flexibility in his coaching strategy. This allows players to test themselves at different positions, while providing stability when dealing with injuries or absences.
The weekend wrapped up for the Minor Bantams with a 9-2 win, completing the sweep of North Bay. Cole Masse took the win on the mound, going 3 innings with a 90% first-pitch strike rate. Carmine Perna, Tyler Caruso, and Masse picked up hits in the win.
The Minor Bantam Sox record now sits at 3-1 on the season.
Next action for the Minor Bantam Sox will be against the Muskoka Hornets on April 1st.
In other local news, the Mosquito Black Sox took on North Bay, Valley East, and Sudbury in a 3-game set. The Mosquito Sox are led by head coach Seth Cond. Cond returns to the helm for his third consecutive season as head coach. The Mosquitos went 2-1 on the weekend, defeating North Bay 8-6, Valley East 13-0, and dropping a hard fought 10-9 decision against Sudbury.