COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - In Branch County summer league baseball, the AABC Mickey Mantle North Central Regional is happening this week in Coldwater for the 44th year and the double elimination tournament opened yesterday with a pair of games at Lowe Field, including the host Coldwater Redbirds losing in the first round last night 8-to-5 to the Michigan Bulls. Brandon Lewis was the starter for the Redbirds and suffered the defeat with 4-and-two-third innings on the mound. The Bulls put the game away with a big six-run fifth inning. Randall Linton had two singles and two rbi’s for Coldwater while Michael Gillette also had two singles with an rbi and a run scored. In Thursday’s first game in the afternoon, the Michigan Great Lakes Lightning doubled up the Streaks of Ottawa, Illinois 14-to-7.
Second and third round action is set for today with games at Lowe Field as well as at Heritage Park’s Borden Field. That’s where Coldwater will take on Ottawa, Illinois at 3:30 this afternoon in a loser’s bracket elimination game. The Regional will feature 3 more games tomorrow with fourth and fifth round play at Lowe Field and if necessary, a sixth round game would happen on Sunday. The tournament winner advances to the Mickey Mantle World Series in McKinney, Texas.
Meanwhile, a Coldwater Redbird Sandy Koufax team had its season come to a close yesterday with a 6-to-5 defeat in the second round of a regional tournament in Rockford, Illinois. Sam DeMeester and Bryce Barringer handled the pitching duties for the Redbirds on Thursday. DeMeester had a solo homer and scored 2 runs while Colin Torrey and Eric Bach each scored a run and had two singles apiece.