A trio of Deerfield travel baseball teams earned 2014 Wooden Bat titles, while another two squads garnered runner up honors.
Here is a look at a few of the team performances:
Deerfield 11 Red Wins Title
The Deerfield 11 Red Warriors picked up their second tournament title of the season with two exciting wins on the final day of the tournament.
In the semifinal game against Lake Forest Blue on Sunday morning at Clavey 3 it was a true battle of pitching. The wind was blowing in hard and both teams were going to have to scratch out any runs they could. The game was scoreless into the top of the 5th inning. In the late innings, Deerfield put together a hitting barrage and earned its way into the championship game where the team would face Highland Park.
In the final, Deerfield and Highland Park would remain tied through the fourth inning. In the 5th, following a team huddle when Coach Todd Rubin gave a spirited – albeit brief – speech of encouragement, Deerfield would plate four runs to take a 7 to 3 lead and win the game by that same score.
Deerfield 10 Gray Takes 2nd
The Deerfield Warriors 10 Gray baseball team has two team mottos this season. “Be excellent today” and “You’re either the team that’s pushing, or the team that’s being pushed around.” On their road to a fantastic 2nd place finish, the team was certainly excellent, and rarely got pushed around. In the semi-finals, the Warriors faced a familiar foe, the Northwest Knights, who had ruthlessly slaughter-ruled Deerfield in an earlier contest in league play. Outsized and outstrengthed at nearly every position, the Warriors relied on their ever—increasing baseball intelligence and desire to compete, neutralizing the Knights size and coming away with a hard-fought 6 to 5 victory. In the title game, the Warriors faced off against a tough Grayslake squad. Despite the 5 to 1 loss, this was a huge step in the evolution of the 10 Grays, as it marked the first time ever that the team has made it into a championship game.
Deerfield Warriors Red 12 Wins Wooden Bat Title
Through its first three games I the tournament, Deerfield Red 12 did not give up a run. In fact it wasn’t until the semi-final game that Deerfield allowed a run, winning that game 3 to 1 versus the Mt. Prospect Mavericks. With the wind blowing in not much offense was in store for both teams.
The championship game featured the Warriors against the Plainfield Stealers. Matt Birtman and Evan Orloff shut down the Stealer offense allowing only 1 run. The Warriors scored twice in the bottom half of the 1st inning. The defense made key plays early in the game. In the 2nd inning Birtman got out of a bases loaded no out jam to allow only 1 run in the inning. Craig Bouslog snagged a line drive to end the threat. In the 3rd inning the bats came alive. The Warriors drove the ball all over the field scoring 3 runs. Birtman had 2 hits and scored 3 times to earn MVP honors of the Championship game. Ari Rosen, Craig Bouslog, Matt Brown all had key hits.
This was Deerfield’s second tournament win of the year. In both tournament wins Deerfield had great pitching performances and played outstanding defense.