The Lewiston Paffile Truckers took home $18,000 in winnings as the champions for the 2011 Grand Forks International tournament after defeating Australian Geelong Baycats 9-1 under the heat of a late Boundary summer sun Monday.
While the Baycats traveled the farthest for the tournament, the Truckers are experienced on the Grand Forks field having visited the tournament several times in the past possibly giving them an advantage.
But the Baycats had just finished a tough semi-final game against the Seattle Studs only minutes before gearing up to meet the Truckers and that may have led to their demise.
There was no scoring until the bottom of the fourth inning of the game when the Truckers’ shortstop Bobby Joe Tannehill homered right field with no one on base. On their last play, a fly ball to left field gave the Truckers their second point as everyone moved around the bases and Eric Petersen made home.
Australian tried to take the game back in the fifth inning with no luck. The bottom of the fifth continued to belong to the Truckers as Trent Bridges homered to right field driving in Kyle Knigge from third base bringing the score to 4-0.
Another home run by Tannehill gained them 5-0. Australia failed to shut Lewiston down as Eric Petersen scored again with a home run hit to right center bringing in Alfonso Casillas from second base. The Baycats brought in a new pitcher, Stuart Barnes, and proceeded to shut the inning down.
Going into the sixth inning the Baycats lagged by 7. The Aussies put two men on base, but after a change of pitchers by Lewiston, they only scored one point on a sacrifice by Ben Knuth and ended the inning 7 – 1. The Baycats replied by shutting the Truckers down at the bottom of the seventh, but not before Casillas homered to center field bringing in Tannehill again for 2.
At the top of the eighth Australia managed to place men around the field before a runner was taken out at third base leaving them scoreless. As Lewiston took the field Australia brought in pitcher Jared Knuth.The Truckers were shut down with no hits or runs.
But the top of the ninth spelled the end for the Baycats as they were once again stalled for hits and the Truckers became the champions for the tournament.
The six-day tournament hosted twelve teams in 18 games before the money round. Of the eight teams in the money round four moved on to the semi-finals: Team Canada, Lewiston Truckers, Australia’s Baycats and the Seattle Studs. The Truckers beat Team Canada 2-1 early on Monday, and the Baycats won against the Studs 7-5 in the afternoon game.
Going into the money round three teams stood unbeaten: Team Canada, Langley Blaze and Thurston County Senators. Langley and Thurston lost to teams in Sunday’s round leaving the remaining teams to battle for the prize money.
For all the stats and play-by-play coverage go to: www.grandforksbaseball.com.
Watch the video for aerial coverage of the games and the closing remarks; click on photos below to enlarge and view!