Alpena Strikers win third tourney

Every athlete dreams of scoring a big goal, draining a key basket, or making a huge putt. Jordan Schultz of the Alpena Strikers 12U baseball team had one of those athletic moments playing in the Pinconning Big Cheese Tournament recently.

The Strikers came to the plate in the bottom of the final inning, losing 5-1 to McTaggerts of Standish. After three consecutive singles by Owen Limback, Aidan Goike and Chris DeRocher, Schultz stepped to the plate trying to keep the rally going. After two pitches, he saw a pitch that he liked and drove it deep over center field for the game tying hit and pure jubilation for the Strikers’ bench. Colby Plowman followed up with a walk and stole his way to third base. Riley Arlt sacrificed Plowman home for the championship in a 6-5 victory and the Strikers’ third tournament victory of the summer.

In Game 1, the Strikers battled the Small Town Stingers from Lapeer and found themselves in a big hole early on, giving up 10 in the top of the first inning. The Strikers scored five runs of their own in the bottom of the first, including a home run from Schultz. Alpena added five more runs in the second inning to tie things up 10-10, including a home run by Limback.

The Stingers took the lead in the third inning before the Strikers added two more to take a 12-11 victory.

Kyle VanDusen and Eli Winter led the Strikers offensively with three hits each with Anthony Berg (2), Goike (2), Limback (2), DeRocher (2) and Schultz (1) leading the team.

Game 2 would see the same start with Swan Valley jumping out 2-0 before the Strikers settled down and scored seven unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings to win 7-2. Eli Winter led the way with his first home run of the year. Limback and Goike each had doubles with Plowman and Berg chipping in singles.

Quarterfinal action saw the Strikers and Stingers face off once again. The Strikers put three runs on the board in the first inning and cruised to a 14-3 victory. The Strikers hit multiple home runs including Arlt with his first of the year. Goike led the way with three hits including a home run, DeRocher (2 home runs), VanDusen (2) and Limback, Plowman and Adam Urlaub added singles.

Semifinal action saw the Strikers face Bay City. VanDusen scored an early run to give Alpena a 1-0 lead. The game stayed this way until the final inning when Alpena put five more runs across to advance to the finals. Schultz hit another home run with VanDusen (2) and Limback and DeRocher adding singles in the win.

“What a great win for the boys especially for Jordan to hit a grand slam to tie things up.” Strikers coach Chris Limback said. “The kids faced some adversity this weekend and never quit competing including playing three games on Sunday to win the Championship.

The Strikers are now 22-2-1 and will head to Farmington Hills for the Firecracker Invitational July 5-6.