The 2019 Lakeshore Invitational Tournament was held on Sunday, June 2 in Branch and Manitowoc. The tournament was co-hosted by the Branch Blaze and Manitowoc Bandits. In this, the 5th annual event, six teams were split into two pools with one pool playing at each location and the pool winners playing in the championship game. The Branch Blaze, Little Chute Bandits, and Rubicon Red Sox played at Branch and the Manitowoc Bandits, De Pere Dodgers, and Green Bay Storm played at Municipal Field in Manitowoc.
In the end, the De Pere Dodgers defeated the Little Chute Bandits 12-2 to come away with their 3rd consecutive LIT Championship. The Dodgers offense was hot early, putting up five runs in the first inning and they would hold a seven-run lead before the Bandits scored their first runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning to bring the score to 7-2. That's all Little Chute would get though. The Dodgers would score in each of the last three innings and come away with the victory.
The Dodger's Luke Gajewski was named tournament MVP for his gaudy offensive numbers on the day. In three games, Luke had seven hits in 11 at bats, scoring seven runs, stealing six bases, and driving in two. He also had a double.
Recap of pool games:
Little Chute 9, Branch 0
Bandit's pitcher Hunter Schabo took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but his no-hit bid was ended by a Joe Janke double. Alex Kueck led Little Chute at the plate with three hits in three at bats and four runs scored.
Little Chute 7, Rubicon 3
Rubicon had batters reach in every inning but couldn't score their first run until the seventh inning when Grant Kosanke drove in a run followed up by Sid Lehman driving in two more. The three runs weren't enough, however, as Little Chute was already up 7-0 before the inning. Alex Nicholson was hot for the Bandits reaching safely four times in the game on three hits and a walk. The win clinched Little Chute a spot in the championship game.
Rubicon 13, Branch 0
Every Rubicon batter recorded a hit in the final game of the day at Branch but the star of the game was Red Sox pitcher Danny Schiff, who pitched a six-inning no hitter with four walks and 11 strikeouts.
Manitowoc 6, Green Bay 8
Manitowoc rallied for three runs in their last turn at bat but it wasn't enough. The Storm offense put up eight runs behind the three-hit game of Brett Reinhart and multiple RBI's from Marcus Rauschenbach and Tyler Basten.
Green Bay 0, De Pere 10
The Dodger's Evan Sigmund struck out six Green Bay batters on his way to pitching a shut out, allowing only one hit. Cole Clark stood out for De Pere at the plate with two hits in trips to the plate, driving in three runs.
De Pere 5, Manitowoc 1
Matt Willens pitched the Dodgers to the championship game, shutting out the Bandits for six innings before allowing one run to score in the seventh. Tournament MVP, Luke Gajewski, had four hits and stole four bases to lead De Pere offensively.