LA SALLE — The Streator 11-year-old All-Stars' bats were as hot as the recent weather during Wednesday night's District 20 Little League Tournament here on Adam Bernardi Field inside of Hegeler Park against Ottawa National.
The lads in Red and White pinged out a total of 17 safeties, scored three times in each of the opening two innings and put the game away by plating nine runs in the bottom of the third frame to invoke the run-rule in a 15-0 triumph.
Streator now faces Ottawa American — a 13-2 victor over Peru in the night's curtain raiser — at 6 p.m. on Thursday, while Ottawa National will take on Peru at 8 p.m. in the bottom half of the bracket in the double-elimination tournament.
"What was the most exciting for me tonight was to look in the score book and see that 11 of our 13 kids came across to touch home plate," said Streator manager Nick Price. "That tells you everybody did something positive and that is how you win games. They kept it in high gear all night long.
"This is a great group of kids, they have very good attitudes and and willing to do whatever is best for the team. When you have kids that you say to them 'Hey, I'm putting so-and-so in for you this inning in the field or this at-bat' they don't bat an eye. We preach be a good teammate and being a good teammate a lot of the time it shows up on the field."
Starting and winning pitcher Aiden Wilkenson (2 IP) and reliever Brody Elias (1 IP) combined for a no-hitter for Streator, allowing just a pair of National base runners — Jakob Calvert on an error in the first and a Brody Pagakis walk in the second — while each fanned three.
Streator started quickly as Keagan Angelico and Cole Winterrowd smacked consecutive singles off National starter Brady Haines in the bottom of the first. Clay Christoff followed with a two-run single left to make it 2-0. Christoff would eventually come around to score after base hits by Talon Melvin, Nolan Price and a fielder's choice off the bat of Wilkerson.
In the third, Angelico's infield single preceded back-to-back RBI doubles by Winterrowd and Christoff, with the latter scoring on a run-scoring error by Joe Hoekstra to make it 6-0.
Later, Streator sent 12 batters to the plate off Calvert in relief, starting with Christoff finishing off a 3-for-3, five RBI contest with a two-run double. Hoekstra then knocked in a run with a hit, Riley Stevens blasted a RBI triple to the fence in center, Price and Wilkerson lined consecutive singles scoring runs and Winterrowd capped his 4-for-4 effort with a run-scoring single to invoke the 15-run rule after three.
"We talked about not giving up on the ball.There were a couple of times they bobbled the ball and just stopped instead of continuing on with the play," said Ottawa National manager Ryan Fuchs of one of the main messages in his postgame talk with the team. "This is a game that, if you make a mistake, you can shake your head and get mad. It's a game were those things are going to happen, but you have to let it go and move on. We are in a do or die situation now and we have to do it the hard way now.
"Both Brady and Jakob threw strikes for the most part, but Streator hit the ball well tonight. We have to just forget this one and be ready to come and play Thursday."
Great defensive plays were turned by Streator second baseman Angelico (starting a line out double play in the second with a running catch in short right) and Ottawa National center fielder Trevin Timmons (charging catch to end the second inning).
At Adam Bernardi Field, La Salle
Streator 15, Ottawa National 0 (3 inn.)
OTTAWA NATIONAL (0) — Valdez ss 2-0-0-0, Timmons cf 1-0-0-0, Reingardt cf 0-0-0-0, Calvert 3b/p 1-0-0-0, Dubach lf 1-0-0-0, Lucas lf 0-0-0-0, Pagakis 1b 0-0-0-0, Fleming 2b 1-0-0-0, Haines p/rf 1-0-0-0, Nimke 3b 0-0-0-0, Cortez c 1-0-0-0, Weygand rf 1-0-0-0, Underwood rf 0-0-0-0. Totals 9-0-0-0.
STREATOR (15) — Angelico 2b 2-2-2-0, Fowler 2b 2-1-1-0, Winterrowd 1b 4-3-4-2, Christoff 3b 3-3-3-5, Hoekstra c 3-1-1-2, Melvin lf 2-0-1-0, Stevens ph 1-1-1-1, Price ss 3-1-2-1, Wilkenson p/rf 2-1-1-2, Galyen rf 1-0-0-0, Elias p 1-1-0-0, Neuman cf 1-0-0-0, Herrera ph 2-1-1-0. Totals 27-15-17-13.
Ottawa National 000 — 0 0 4
Streator 339 — 15 17 1
LOB — Ottawa National 1, Streator 6. DPT — Streator 1. 2B — Winterrowd, Christoff 2. 3B — Stevens. SB — Herrera.
Ottawa National ip r er h bb k
Haines (L) 2.0 6 5 8 1 2
Calvert 0.2 9 9 9 1 2
Wilkenson (W) 2.0 0 0 0 1 3
Elias 1.0 0 0 0 0 3