Conquest Coyotes win U-23 division at 2018 NAFA World Series

Written by Bob on September 25th, 2018

The Conquest Coyotes roster includes Alex Strautman, Jordan Rock, Clay McKenzie, Ryder Friesen, Quintin Kokesch, Ryan Larocque, Layk Pawluk, Jared Loewen,
Spencer Schaan, Dillon Silverthorn and Mike Thomson. Courtesy Photo By Conquest Coyotes

By BILL STRAUTMAN / Conquest trainer and statistician

FARGO, N.D. – The Conquest Coyotes U-23 fastpitch team from Conquest, Saskatchewan in Canada may have taken the hard way, but they finished strong to win the Under-23 age division of the 2018 NAFA World Series, played in Fargo, ND August 17-19.

    Coyotes 8, Bowen Fastpitch 7

In their first round robin game, Conquest scored two runs in the top of the seventh to go ahead 7-6, but Bowen, Illinois came back in the bottom of the seventh with two of their own to win 8-7. The Coyotes were led by Quintin Kokesch and Dillon Silverthorn, who both went 2-4 and scored two runs each. Juan Platner scored three runs for Bowen.

    Coyotes 9, Sand Prairie 9

The second round robin game ended in a 9-9 tie with Sand Prairie Construction from Wisconsin. Conquest scored four in the top of the last inning to go up 9-8, but Sand Prairie managed a single in the bottom to tie it up. That left the Coyotes at the bottom of Pool A, so they had to play the top team from pool B to start the playoffs.

    Coyotes Top Seadogs To Start Playoffs

The Boston Seadogs, top team in Pool B, scored first in the second inning, but Conquest had a strong third, with five runs on seven hits, one walk and one hit batter. They held the Seadogs scoreless and added three more in the fifth to mercy their opponents.

Seven batters had two hits, including Kokesch, Silverthorn, Ryder Friesen, Alex Strautman, Mickey Thomson, Spencer Schaan and Clayton McKenzie, who also had a home run and a strong game on the mound.

    Coyotes 9, Thunderbirds 2

In the semi-final game, the Coyotes needed just five innings to defeat the Prince Albert Thunderbirds. McKenzie had another strong game on the mound, plus went 3-3 with a run and an RBI. Silverthorn scored three runs with a triple, single, walk and two RBIs. Strautman had two runs and an RBI, with Thomson chipping in a run and RBI going 2-2 and a walk at the plate. Jared Loewen sealed the deal with a two RBI single to put the Coyotes up 9-2 and end the game.

    Coyotes Battle Sand Prairie In Championship Thriller

That set up an exciting final between the Conquest Coyotes and Sand Prairie Construction. In their half of the first inning, Sand Prairie loaded the bases on a hit and two batters hit by a pitch. McKenzie then settled in and struck out the next three batters.

The Coyotes scored two runs in the fourth, on three straight singles and a sacrifice fly. Sand Prairie countered with a single run in the fourth and that was all the scoring in the game, although it got interesting in the sixth. With one out, Jokah Huber hit a high fly to right field. Under the lights, and with a tricky wind, the Conquest right fielder misplayed the ball and Huber ended up on third. A grounder to Strautman at short and a strikeout ended the threat and the Coyotes held on for a 2-1 Championship win.

    Strong Pitching, Clutch Hit

Both pitchers had strong games. McKenzie allowed one run on 4 hits, hit two batters, had no walks and 11 strikeouts. Mike Skora allowed two runs on five hits and walked four. Strautman knocked in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

    All-World Players

Skora was named top pitcher for the U-23 division, McKenzie received the U-23 MVP award with two wins and a loss on the mound and a .727 batting average. Three other Coyote players received all-star awards – Dillon Silverthorn at .583, Alex Strautman at .429 and Mickey Thomson, a New Zealand addition, at .286.

***To check out NAFA statistics, visit: Play NAFA***

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