Pit Spitters – 2021 Champions
Pit Spitters Go Back-2-Back for Historic Championship
St Cloud, MN – The Traverse City Pit Spitters dominated the St. Cloud Rox 9-3 to capture their second Northwoods League title in their second full season as a team.
The Pit Spitters became the first team in league history to win back-to-back championships, winning it all in 2019. Because of COVID-19, no champion was declared in 2020, meaning the Pit Spitters repeated as winners in full regular seasons.
The Northwoods League Pitcher of the Year Cam Schuelke took the mound, and he did not disappoint. Schuelke pitched six innings and allowed just three hits. He did have four walks and three hit by pitches that allowed three runs, but he did his job holding down a good St. Cloud offense.
The Traverse City offense did their job as well. Against a St. Cloud pitching staff that finished the regular season with a league-best 2.94 ERA, the Pit Spitters scored their nine runs on 13 hits. The Pit Spitters became just the third team all season to score at least nine runs against the Rox, and the only team to do so in the postseason. The Pit Spitters scored exactly nine runs in three of their four playoff victories.
St. Cloud got on the board first in the bottom of the second, but the rest of the game was all Traverse City. The Pit Spitters scored a pair of runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Zeb Roos tied the game with an RBI single, and then Trey Yunger scored on a steal play to take the lead.
The fifth inning started with a 13-pitch walk to Mario Camilletti. Camilletti scored on an RBI hit from Chris Monroe, then Yunger added a run with an RBI single of his own. With a 2-RBI single from Evan Maday in the sixth, the Pit Spitters scored five straight runs with two outs.
The Rox started a comeback with a big seventh, scoring two runs. But Adam Proctor threw out a runner trying to steal to thwart the threat. Defense and pitching came up big in the eighth as Pat Hohlfeld got out of a bases loaded jam to hold the lead.
The top of the eighth was the biggest inning for either team. Mario Camilletti sent an opposite field drive over the left field wall for his second home run of the postseason. Later in the inning, Monroe struck again with an RBI double to push the lead to 9-3. John Beuckelaere allowed one baserunner in the ninth but got a strikeout and a pair of flyouts to seal the championship victory.
Eight of nine starters got a hit in the game with every starter reaching base at least once. Five players had multiple hits:
- Camilletti 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB, HBP
- Maday 2-4 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
- Monroe 2-5, 2 RBI
- Yunger 2-3, RBI, R, BB
- Roos 2-4, RBI, BB
Cam Schuelke was named Pitcher of the Game and Mario Camilletti was named Player of the Game.
A Pit Spitter led all players in the postseason in the following categories:
- Hits (Monroe, 8)
- Runs (Camilletti, 8)
- Doubles (Camilletti, 3)
- Triples (Stygles, 2)
- Home runs (Camilletti, 2)
- Walks (Maday, 4)
- Stolen Bases (Faust/Roos/Yunger, 3)
- Innings Pitched (Schuelke, 12.1)
- Wins (Schuelke, 2)
As a team, the Pit Spitters led the postseason in almost every category, including AVG, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases and SLG.
Six players for Traverse City hit over .300 in the postseason, with Yunger leading the way at .389.
Five players on this team also won it in 2019 (John Beuckelaere, Mario Camilletti, Christian Faust, Pat Hohlfeld, Adam Proctor). Jake Arnold, Evan Gates and Cade Heil were on both 2019 and 2021 teams but missed the postseason.
The Pit Spitters became the seventh team to win multiple championships, the only team to do it in consecutive regular seasons. Only two teams have more Northwoods League titles (Rochester, 5 and St Cloud, 4). Traverse City will be the two-time defending champions when they return to the field in 2022.