The NYO Rangers completed their summer season with a thrilling 7-5 victory over the East Side Titans in the championship game of the Dizzy Dean State Invitational Tournament, which took place at Hobgood Park over the 4th of July weekend.
Rainer Ortkiese started on the mound for NYO and held the Titans scoreless for the first two innings. Palmer Schultz earned the win with three innings of relief, allowing only one earned run. Ben Tucker recorded a save, pitching the final inning of the contest.
Offensively, Olivia Bailey and Wesley Harrison led the team with two hits each, while clean-up hitter Jack Kelly delivered the decisive blow with a two-run HR in the fifth inning.
The Rangers finished the season with a 15-9 record, including six wins in their final seven games. Here is the team’s roster along with some individual highlights:
Olivia Bailey- 2B/leadoff hitter, MVP candidate, led team in several offensive categories including a .462 batting average, 31 stolen bases and 33 runs scored (i.e. more than 2 runs per game- just incredible); also very steady at 2B (32 assists, 5 double plays).
Wyatt Dunkel- C, team leader, logged 90% of his time at catcher (with an impressive .935 fielding percentage and 12 assists); after finishing last summer with only 1 strikeout at the plate, broke his record this summer with 0 strikeouts. Over two seasons, that’s 1 strikeout in 124 plate appearances. Amazing.
James Gleeson- 1B, defensive superstar, built like a rock but with soft hands and a beautiful stretch, made highlight plays every game and recorded a .947 fielding percentage in 103 innings at the position (out of a possible 106).
Wesley Harrison- SS, star player, among team leaders in several offensive categories including .406 batting average, 27 hits, 20 RBI and 23 runs; also an excellent fielder (31 assists, 6 double plays).
Jack Kelly- OF/cleanup hitter, sweet swing, all day, led the team with 7 doubles and 25 RBI, homered in state championship game!
Rafe Montgomery- 3B, made several highlight plays in the field and showed great speed on the bases; excellent bunter; had 2nd highest OBP on the team (.549).
Rainer Ortkiese- OF/P, made 11 appearances at pitcher including a start in the state championship game, always stepped up in key moments in the field and at the plate.
Brooks Platford- P/OF, started 7 games at pitcher, led the team offensively with 16 walks, homered against the NYO Firebirds!
Palmer Schultz- P/3B, star pitcher, led the team with 6 wins including the state championship game, recorded a 2.67 ERA in 27 innings pitched; also stole 28 bases.
Lewis Todd- P/OF, started 7 games at pitcher, led staff with a .623 strike percentage, finished 3rd on the team in batting average (.382) and slugging; great baserunner.
Ben Tucker- CF/P, outstanding outfielder (1 error in 31 chances), made 12 appearances at pitcher including closing the state championship game; offensively, among team leaders in OBP (.500).
The Rangers were coached by Marcus Todd, Kent Tucker, Scott Cole, Jeff Schultz and Luke Walker. The coaches and players would like to thank the parents, grandparents and all of the team’s fans for making this season such a fun and successful one. The team would also like to thank Jane Wilkins, Cliff Barshay, Ben Levenbaum, and the entire NYO family for their support.