J&D Brokerage nips Winn Machine for Walt Thode title

Tournament champs JD Brokerage, coached by head coach Rick Lambert.

Runners-up Winn Machine, coached by head coach Jay Sittig.

2019 John R. Weeks MVP Award recipient Conner Meyers with (left) his coach Rick Lambert and (right) Nolan Weeks, John R. Weeks’ grandson.

Story and photos provided by LaPorte Park Department

On Saturday night, June 15, 2019, at Lions Field, the 42nd annual Walt Thode Baseball Classic was played on a near-perfect evening. And the action on the field was just as a baseball fan would hope for — great pitching with timely hitting in a tightly contested game. J&D Brokerage escaped with a narrow 5-4 victory over Winn Machine.

J&D Brokerage starting pitcher Josh Westfall came out firing, picking up 3 strikeouts in the first. In the bottom half of the inning, after two groundouts, J&D’s Conner Meyers singled to right, stole 2 bases and scored on a single by Lucas DelRio. RJ Carnes then smashed a double down the left field line, scoring DelRio, and J&D staked a quick 2-0 lead after one inning.

Winn Machine came right back in the 2nd as Joseph Pray led off by crushing a double. Wyatt Wilczynski was hit by a pitch and Nolan Eaton followed with a one-out single, driving in Pray to cut the lead in half.  But Westfall settled down and picked up 2 more strikeouts to end the inning.

After a one-out walk to Isaac Moyer, J&D’s Jordan Cygan ripped a single to right, pushing Moyer to 3rd.  But after Winn’s Evan Sittig struck out Westfall, he teamed up with his catcher Nathan Singleton to cut down Moyer trying to score on a passed ball to end the inning.

Vincent Balich took over for Westfall in the 3rd.  After a walk to Singleton, consecutive singles by Ethan Schoof and Sittig drove in Singleton and Pray then reached by error to load the bases.  But a line out and a strikeout ended the Winn Machine threat of a potential big inning.

Schoof relieved Sittig in the bottom of the 3rd, and J&D pounced immediately as a walk to Evan Hough and a single by Dennis Harmon put runners on. Harlan Gomez and Grant Uhlemann followed with base hits, each driving in a run to take a 4-2 lead at the halfway point.  

Conner Meyers became J&D’s third pitcher of the evening, taking over in the 4th.  He gave up a run in the 4th as Brock Stewart walked and advanced on Issac Pitman’s single.  Stewart scored on a passed ball, but Meyers struck out the side. Schoof matched Meyers with 3 strikeouts in the bottom of the 4th.  

In the 5th, Sittig banged out a one-out single and scored, tying the game again 4-4.  Meyers allowed 2 more base runners but again struck out the side to end another Winn Machine threat. 

In the bottom of the 5th, Moyer got hit by Schoof’s pitch to give J&D a baserunner. Cygan sacrificed Moyer to 3rd.  Moyer scored on a passed ball with what came to be the winning run, but not before Winn Machine made things exciting in the top of the 6th.  Pitman and Singleton reached base after one out, only to be stranded as Meyers was again able to strike out the side.

For the game, Sittig and Schoof (7) combined for 9 strikeouts, allowing just 2 walks and 7 hits.  Sittig and Pitman each singled twice for Winn Machine. J&D was paced by RJ Carnes’ double. Westfall (5), Balich and Meyers (9) earned 16 strikeouts against 3 walks and 7 hits.

At the conclusion of the game, Nolan Weeks, grandson of John Weeks, presented J&D’s Conner Meyers with the John R. Weeks MVP on a vote of the coaches.

One Response to “J&D Brokerage nips Winn Machine for Walt Thode title”

  1. Sherry

    Jun 20. 2019

    Been to all the J&D games. ?? All the teams are great and fun to watch.

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