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Saints, Dream Chasers and Truce Play Big this Weekend in RBI Junior League Play

Integrity’s D’Mauri Richardson bunts for a single in Sunday’s game against Truce. (Source photo by Mark J Daniel)

RBI Junior Baseball League* games kept everyone on the edge of their seats this weekend as three of the four games were all decided by one or two runs.

Saints 8 – Respect 7
D’Lani Charles had an all-star performance on Friday, shining on the mound and at the plate as his Saints escaped with an 8-7 win over Respect at the DC Canegata Ballpark.

Charles took control of the game early, striking out three of the first four batters he faced in the first inning. In the bottom of the same inning, the Saints capitalized on singles from Tyrone Lake, Charles and Raynaldo Corcino to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Charles struck out two more Respect batters in the second, then in the bottom of that inning, crushed a 3-1 pitch deep to centerfield, driving in two runs on a stand-up double.

The score was 8-3 going into the fourth inning when Respect launched a comeback. Respect’s first two batters got on base before Na-Jail Hospedales collected one of his two hits on the day, driving home one run. Centerfielder Jequan Weste also came up with an RBI single to bring Respect within one run of knotting the game at eight.

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But Saints reliever Derek Morales struck out Yariel Rodriquez for the third out of the inning, ending the treat.

Charles got the win for the Saints, striking out six in the process. Respects Jose Carmona was saddled with the loss.

Dream Chasers 12 – Integrity 4
Dream Chasers’ pitching duo of Malcolm Commodore and Shavor Hart kept Integrity in check, allowing only two hits in the 12-4 win at the Lionel Roberts Stadium on Saturday.

Commodore started the game on the mound for Dream Chasers, striking out four while only allowing one hit and three walks. Hart entered the game in the top of the third and threw 16 of his 25 pitches for strikes.

In the third inning, Jayden Lawrence, Ki’Mani Thomas and Richard Julius Jr all had hits that powered Dream Chasers to score six runs in the inning. Lawrence was the only Dream Chaser with multiple hits going 2-of-3 at the plate. Glen Maduro III and Julius Jr went 1-of-1 and Ki’Mani Thomas went 1-of-2 for the Dream Chasers. Kibwe Belle Jr. and Jaden Sibilly registered one hit each for Integrity.

Dream Chasers 8 – Truce 6
Dream Chasers used a six-run fourth inning to push pass Truce and claim an 8-6 victory at the Lionel Roberts Stadium on Saturday.

Truce Devonte Freeman pitches in his game against Integrity on Sunday at the Lionel Roberts Stadium. (Source photo by Mark J Daniel)

This was the second game of a double header for Dream Chasers as they had defeated Integrity earlier that day, and Dream Chasers may have been experiencing fatigue as Truce jumped out to a 5-2 lead. The Chasers got on the board first when Nykori Lewis doubled to left field driving home Glen Maduro III in the top of the first. Truce’s Nehkai Nibbs responded with an inside-the-park two-run homerun in the bottom of the opening inning. In the bottom of the third, Vern Frett came to bat with the bases loaded and he drove in two runs on his double to left field. Moise Rogers followed Frett with a single, bringing home another run for Truce.

Down 5-2, Dream Chasers put on their hard hats and got to work in the fourth inning. Ki’Mani Thomas, Seldon Samuel Jr., Jayden Lawrence and Lewis all came up with timely hits that tallied six runs in the inning. Big right hander Maduro III of Dream Chasers closed the door on Truce, giving Dream Chasers an 8-6 victory.

Truce 12 – Integrity 11
Integrity was just one out away from pulling off the upset before Truce literally stole the game at the Lionel Roberts Stadium on Sunday.

Integrity started the game strong, tallying six runs in the opening inning. Truce responded by tying the game at six with three runs in the first and second innings. Integrity tacked three more runs on the board making the score 9-6 going into the final inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, Truce was down to its last out and on the verge of defeat. Then things changed dramatically. With a runner on first base, Truce’s Re’Kai Huyghue singled to left field. Catcher AJai Larcheveaux followed with a single to right field, loading the bases. A wild pitch and a passed ball made the score 9-8. In RBI play, catchers are allowed a courtesy runner. This rule cuts down on the amount of time between innings as these games are played with a two-hour time limit. Vern Frett was the courtesy runner for Truce’s catcher Larcheveaux. Frett proceeded to steal home on a 1-2 pitch tying the game at 9-9 treating the fans to bonus baseball.

In extra innings a runner is placed on second base to start each half inning. Integrity pushed across two runs in their half of the inning to take a 11-9 advantage. In the bottom of that frame, Truce’s LeSean George was placed on second base. Jordan Fleming hit the ball to shortstop and scampered to first base while George advanced to third base on the play. Nehkai Nibbs followed with a double to right field scoring George and placing Fleming on third base with just one out in the inning. K’Nard Callendar sent everyone home with a shot back up the middle scoring both Fleming and Nibbs giving Truce a 12-11 victory.

Callendar got the win, striking out five while scattering three hits. Keshawn Callwood Jr. took the loss. Fleming, Nibbs and Callendar all logged multiple hits for Truce. Andre Matthrew, Belle Jr., D’Mauri Richardson and Harrigan Jr. all got one hit each.

After the weekend’s play, the league standings for the RBI Junior Baseball League are:
Saints, 8 – 1
Dream Chasers, 7 – 2
Truce, 6 – 4
Respect, 1 – 8
Integrity, 1 – 8

*RBI stands for Reviving Baseball in Inner City. It is an outreach program created by Major League Baseball, sponsored in the territory by the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation to create a love for the game of baseball and use that to foster the value of teamwork, working hard to achieve their goals, academic excellence and community service.

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