Satellite Beach, FL – iCASE let a great opportunity to say they played .500 baseball in Florida over the March Break slip away after roaring out to a 4-1 lead over the Tecumseh Thunder, but allowed three in the sixth and another in the seventh, resulting in a Thunder 5-4 comeback win at DeSoto Park.
Overall, the Huskies finished with a pair of wins, three losses, and a tie in their five-day, six-game schedule in the Cocoa Beach area.
“Despite some uncharacteristic rain and cold, we managed to play all six games we scheduled, and we’re thrilled by that,” said iCASE head coach/GM Tom Valcke.
“Our pitching ran out and I really credit Sam (Near), Nishu (Nisarg Patel), Riley (Deline) and Peyton (Tisi) for hanging in there, as we literally had nobody left in the bullpen after such a condensed week at such an early time of year.”
Starting pitcher Near allowed just one run and three hits over his three-inning stint, and in the bottom of the third, iCASE rallied for four runs to take command. Near drilled a Howitzer into the leg of the Tecumseh starter and beat out an infield single. The pitcher had to be replaced, and after Near stole second, the reliever walked Patel, struck out Ruben Van Dijk, and beaned Riley Sykes. Jordy Tessmer scorched a line drive into right field to score Near and Patel, while Sykes made it to third. Tessmer and Sykes then pulled off a textbook double steal to put iCASE ahead by two. Cam Lynn took a fastball in the helmet, and needed to be removed from the game under concussion protocol. Tessmer swiped third and scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1. But Tisi had the only iCASE hit the rest of the way, a harmless single to right field, as Tecumseh mounted their come-from-behind win. Deline, Patel and Tisi chipped in to close out the final three innings allowing four runs on three hits, five walks and a hit batsman.
“This Spring Training trip has a lot more to it than meets the eye, and unlike the intense Fall programming we offer, yes, we do play baseball every day here, but we also make sure to give the players enough free time to enjoy their March Break. Each year, we give them more latitude because they have acted so responsibly, and have represented their country, their school, their family, and themselves with such class.
I can’t wait to get home and report to our principal, Martin Ritsma, and our director of education, Ted Doherty, as well as the Stratford Minor Baseball Association, how proud they should be to have had these guys, and girls (iCASE, for the first time, brought a girls softball team to Florida as well) acting on behalf of these institutions.”
iCASE returns home now to continue training at its partner school, Stratford Northwestern SS, a member of the Avon Maitland District School Board. iCASE is also proud to be a member of the Stratford Minor Baseball Association, the InterCounty Baseball Association, and Baseball Ontario.
iCASE does not interfere with summer club team baseball, and makes every effort to cooperate with pre-season training in the club ranks, as well Huron Perth, WOSSAA and OFSAA high school baseball.
“Our goal is to simply provide the club teams a better, stronger, smarter player, both skillfully and tactically, than they handed us last Fall,” Valcke stated.
In its first four years, 14 iCASE players have gone on to play collegiate baseball with scholarships. In the Fall, they play a different US college each Friday, followed by a high school-aged tournament in the same area on Saturdays and Sundays. iCASE played in five different states last Fall.
For more information, please contact Tom Valcke, 519-703-4088, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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