Kents Win Three of Four Games In Silver Ball Tournament
The base ball gods shined on the Kent Base All Club for much of their weekend at the Silver Ball Tournament at Genesee Country Village in Mumford, New York. The Kents won their first three games and took and early lead in the fourth but as the skies darkened during their second game Sunday morning, so did their fortunes on the ball field, losing their final game 10-9 in the last inning.
Eleven Kents journeyed to New York for the tournament. The Kent lineup:
John “Baggy Pants” Kolb, Third Base
David “Tally Express” Turner, Hurler
Lance “Rocket Man” Brewer, Shortstop
Bob “Double” Dekker, Left Field
Justin “Big Dutch” Buiter, Second Base
Kelly “More and More” Patmore, Center Field
Mike “Dependable” DeJong, First Base
Wade “Bunker” Hillen, Right Field
Jerry “Governor” Brown, Outfield
Mike “Big Cat” Coger, Behind
Jim “Grandpa Silver Fox” Boles, Behind
The tournament began on a high note when the Kents took on the Melrose (Massachusetts) Pondfielders on Silver Ball Field, winning 12-7. After tallying a single ace in their first inning, the Kents took over the match in their third and fourth innings by making nine aces. Mike “Dependable” DeJong began the inning with a one base hit, and his teammates followed with six safe hits and six aces. Highlight of the inning were well struck two base hits by David “Tally Express” Turner and Lance “Rocket Man” Brewer. In the Kent’s next inning, ol’ “Dependable” began with another safe hit, and five of his mates did likewise, tallying three more aces. From that point, the Kents tallied only two more aces, but held off most the Pondfielders efforts to tally more aces.
The Kents’ second game of the tournament brought a rematch against the Knickerbocker Base Ball Team of Genesee Country Village. The Knickerbockers were last year’s champion and defeated the Kents for the right to appear in the championship game. This time the result was different, as the Kents tallied eight aces in their first three innings and went on to win 16-9. Key hitters for the Kents were Lance Brewer with two doubles, and Justin Buiter who struck safely five times on five trips to the striker’s line. Every Kent struck safely at least two times during the match, and Jim “Grandpa Silver Fox” Boles continued his steady performance by striking safely four times, to accompany three safe hits in three attempts in the first game, giving him seven safe hits in eight at bats. Several people hit long blows with Brewer, Dekker and Buiter all sending the ball far over the heads of the Knickerbocker outfielders.
Eight O’clock AM on Sunday morning is an extremely early time together for a base ball game, but the Kents and Rochesters did just that, playing on a field still damp with heavy dew. The Kents continued their winning ways, defeating their New York opponent 20-15 in a game that found both teams struggling to catch and hold the ball as it bounced on the uneven field, and infielders resorting to fielding with their chests or knocking the ball to the ground and picking it up to put out strikers. The Kents got off to a good start with seven aces in their first two innings. Wade “Bunker” Hillen struck the big blow when he hit for three bases when there were two outs and three of his companions aboard the bases. The Rochesters rallied to take a short-lived lead before the Kents retook the lead with a scoring binge that produced nine aces in their fourth and fifth innings.
With their third victory, the Kents were in competition for a place in the championship game if they defeated their fourth and final opponent, the Excelsiors. With safe hits from the first five men in their lineup, the Kents got off to a good start with two tallies in their first inning. They added four more aces in their second, and two in their third. Unfortunately, they could muster only a single tally in their remaining six innings as the Excelsiors rallied for a 10-9 victory. Twice, the Kents loaded the bases but could not find a way to send any of runners home to tally their aces. John “Baggy Pants” Kolb, “Rocket Man” Brewer, Bob “Double” Dekker, Justin “Big Dutch” Buiter, “Bunker” Hiller, and “Grandpa Silver Fox” Boles each had three safe hits to lead the Kents, with Dekker striking a long blow over the head of the left field tender. Unfortunately, all the Kents best efforts were not enough and they had to step aside as another Michigan team, the Grangers of Rochester played against a team from Waterbury, Connecticut for the championship.
Heavy, dark clouds hung in the air all morning, and with reports that a major storm was on the way, organizers moved the championship game time to 12:30. The storm reports proved accurate, and as the Kents began their trip home, the heavens opened. Reports of the final game are as yet incomplete. It is unknown whether the teams were able to play nine innings before the storm arrived. In any event, the Waterbury team won the game to claim the 2009 Silver Ball trophy.