PERU — There is plenty of scrappiness in the Ottawa American League 10-Year-Old All-Stars, and that translated into plenty of runs in Tuesday night's District 20 Tournament elimination-bracket contest against Oglesby.
Unfortunately, their foes had a little bit of perseverance in them, too.
The Ottawa squad battled back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the score at 5 in the top of the fourth inning, then later when it was down 14-5 plated four in the visitors sixth frame in an effort to stay alive. However, the Oglesby club broke that 5-5 deadlock with three runs in the home half of that fourth and scored another six runs in the fifth, leading it to a 14-9 victory and eliminating the local stars here at Washington Park.
Ottawa managed just three hits on the day — two of them doubles for four RBIs by No. 3 hitter Macky Thompson — but took advantage of 14 Oglesby walks to stay alive until that deciding fifth inning. Ben Thompson suffered the loss, striking out two but surrendering nine hits and four walks in relief of starter Easton DeBernardi, who gave up five Oglesby runs in the first 1 2/3 innings. Jagger Rodriguez faced two batters in the fifth.
For Oglesby, Hunter Sale got the win despite walking eight in relief of starter Max Baker, who fanned three but passed six. Chase Riva came on for the final two outs in Ottawa's six-inning rally.
"We played three games, all of them back and forth, and like we told the kids after this game, we just have to learn how to finish off an inning," said Ottawa coach Brian DeBernardi. "When you have a team with two outs, you have to get out of that inning instead of giving up one or two more runs. A couple of runs here and there, those add up. It's all part of the mental side of baseball.
"The big difference in the regular season and an all-star game is that in the regular season, maybe 10 of the 18 outs are strikeouts. In all-stars, it's maybe three or four, so you have to rely on your defense more to make plays and we made a lot of them. ... The kids hustled hard."
Oglesby used DeBernardi's wildness and a Nick Salazar single to score two in the bottom of the first. After Ottawa's Braxton Nelle scored on a wild pitch in the visitors' second, a two-run single by Zach Pescetto and a run-scoring hit by Riva made it 5-1 for the home team.
But Ottawa stayed tough, getting two in the third off Thompson' two-bagger into the left-field corner and two more in the fourth when Nelle and Ben Thompson both walked and scored on wild pitches by Baker. Sale then stopped that rally and held Ottawa at bay until the sixth, while his team broke the game open with the three-run fourth. Camden Fransen and Baker each drove in runs in the fifth.
Sale walked four of five batters in the sixth before Thompson's second two-run double and an RBI single by Kayden Kundert cut the deficit to the final.
For Oglesby, which will play Peru in the sub-district final at 6 p.m. tonight, Riva finished with three of its 12 hits, with Fransen, Salazar and Pescetto adding two each.
"We told our kids that we had to come out firing on all cylinders," said Oglesby coach Scott Pescetto, "that if we fell behind to stay with it, but we got that big lead and after that hung in there. The (three-run fourth) was big for us, and everyone on the team — all 13 kids — did something to contribute to this win, to getting us there and making that stand up. ...
"Ottawa played last night against a tough Mendota team, and I understand it was a nail-biter. We just had our kids pumped up as best we could before the game, and I think Ottawa looked a little tired there at the end, but they kept coming after us.
"That's a good team."
At Washington Park, Peru
Oglesby 14, Ottawa American 9
OTTAWA A. (9) — DeBernardi p-ss 1-1-0-0, Walker cf 2-2-0-1, M. Thompson 3b-p 4-0-2-4, Kundert c 3-0-1-1, Nelle 2b 2-2-0-0, B. Thompson 3b-ss-p 3-1-0-0, Rodriguez 1b-p 0-1-0-0, Siembab ph 0-0-0-0, Johnson ph 0-0-0-0, Clift rf 0-2-0-0, Jeppson spr-rf 0-0-0-0, Carroll lf 1-0-0-0, Schmitz lf 2-0-0-0. Totals 18-9-3-4.
OGLESBY (14) — Fransen cf 2-3-2-1, Salazar ss 4-3-2-1, Pescetto 3b 4-2-2-2, Riva 1b-p 3-2-3-1, Ernat ss 1-1-1-0, Zborowski 2b 3-1-1-1, Baker p-1b 1-1-1-1, Campbell rf 1-0-0-0, Lightle c 1-0-0-0, Myers lf 1-0-0-0, Videgar rf 1-0-0-0, Sale rf-p 2-1-0-0, Freeman spr-lf 10-0-0-0. Totals 25-14-12-7.
Ottawa A. 012 204 — 9 3 2
Oglesby 230 36x — 14 12 0
LOB – Ottawa A. 6, Oglesby 6. 2B – M. Thompson 2, Baker. SB - Kundert, Jeppson, Clift, Fransen, Salazar, Pescetto. HBP - Ernat, Zborowski (by DeBernardi), Thompson (by Sale).
Ottawa A. ip r er h bb k
DeBernardi 1.2 5 5 3 4 1
B. Thompson (L) 3.0 9 6 9 4 2
Rodriguez 0.1 0 0 0 1 1
Baker 3.0 5 5 1 6 3
Sale (W) 2.1 4 4 2 8 4
Riva 0.2 0 0 0 0 1