Amateur baseball team breaks 71-game losing streak

Wednesday , June 06, 2012 - 3:07 PM

The Associated Press

CANISTOTA, S.D. -- Three seasons and 71 games later, Canistota's amateur baseball team finally ended its losing streak.

The Rebels snapped the slide by beating Humboldt-Hartford 7-0 during the first game of a home doubleheader this past weekend.

Manager Randy Townshend said the team didn't celebrate pitcher Corey Struck's shutout too much, as players had to prepare for Sunday's nightcap.

"You just want to keep your composure because you have another game to play, basically," Townshend told KJAM radio this week. "You don't want to show up the other team, basically, because it could come back to haunt you."

The subdued vibe apparently paid off, as Canistota hung on to win a wild second game 20-10. The team improved to 2-5 in the Class B Corn Belt League this season -- the first time the Rebels have climbed out of the cellar since re-forming in 2009 after an absence of about a decade.

South Dakota's Class B teams ditched aluminum bats in favor of wood bats this season, and Townshend says his players love once again hearing the crack of the wood instead of the hollow ping.

Many baseball leagues around the country have transitioned back to wooden bats in recent years, for reasons including tradition and safety.

Class A amateur teams already had been playing exclusively with wooden bats, and commissioners last fall approved the move for Class B teams.

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