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Redbirds lose two, bow out of Mickey Mantle tournament

COLDWATER (WTVB) - In Branch County sports, a pair of tough losses Friday eliminated the host Coldwater Redbirds from the American Amateur Baseball Congress U-16 Mickey Mantle North Central Regional double elimination tournament which continues today at Lowe Field.

After a 5-4 Coldwater win over Streator, Illinois in Thursday’s first round action, the Redbirds went down to defeat yesterday afternoon 3-1 to the Michigan Young Guns from Flint. Brayton Rzepka suffered the loss in going the distance with 8-hits allowed over the seven innings with 4 strikeouts and 5 walks. Rzepka also had two hits and drove in Coldwater’s lone run to put the Redbirds up 1-0 in the fourth inning. But the Young Guns scored a run in the sixth and pulled out the victory with two runs in the seventh. Then last night, Coldwater dropped another close one, falling 4-3 to the Niles, Illinois Braves.

The Redbirds got on the board first with 3 runs in the fourth inning while the Braves made it 3-1 in the bottom of the frame. Coldwater starter Kameron Miller continued to hold Niles in check until the seventh when they rallied for the win. Miller went all the way on a 7-hitter with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks.  On offense for the Redbirds, Jake Osborne had 2 singles and 2 rbi’s. Coldwater finished their season with a 17-10-1 record.

A tournament champion could emerge from today’s 3 game schedule but if necessary, a sixth round contest would be played Sunday beginning at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.

The winner of the North Central Regional, which has been played in Coldwater for 45 years, advances to the Mickey Mantle World Series in McKinney, Texas.