Bay City, MI:
The Swan Valley Little League 10U baseball team scored 4-runs in the fifth inning and another 3-runs in the sixth, before staving off a late charge from Saginaw Township South Little League to advance with a 10-6 victory over STSLL in a Little League World Series 10U district elimination game at Bay City Southwest Little League in Bay City, MI Thursday night.
Swan Valley jumped out to an early lead when shortstop Jamison Pelt reached on a 1-out single and was driven in on an RBI-single by third baseman Brady Stephens for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, while CF Cooper Wagner led off the third with a double, then scored on back to back wild pitches, before catcher Aiden LaFond doubled, then was driven in by Stephens with an RBI-double for a 3-0 Swan Valley lead midway through the third inning.
Saginaw South answered in the bottom half of the third when CF Tyler Essex reached on a lead-off walk, advanced to second on a fielders choice off the bat of South third baseman Rob Kiley, before Essex was driven in on an RBI-single by South first baseman Elijah Smith to cut the Swan Valley lead to 3-1 after three innings of play.
STSLL added another run in the following inning when Kiera Curry, Joe Morford, and Collin Kiczenski loaded the bases with three straight walks, before Curry was driven in on an RBI-single by Kiley to cut the Swan Valley lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Swan Valley would break the game wide open in the top half of the fifth when Wagner, Pelt, and LaFond loaded the bases with 3-consecutive bunts, which led to an RBI-single by Stephens to score Wagner from third, while Swan Valley RF Cash Ardouin followed with a 2-RBI double to drive in Pelt and LaFond, before Stephens eventually scored on a sac fly RBI off the bat of Makayla Taylor for a 7-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning.
Wagner continued the Swan Valley onslaught with a lead-off triple to start the sixth, while Pelt managed to drive in Wagner with an RBI-single, before LaFond singled to drive in Pelt, then stole second and scored on a pair of wild pitches for a 10-2 Swan Valley lead midway through the sixth inning.
Saginaw Township South, however, would not go quietly in the final inning as LF Silas Hill reached on a lead-off walk, while Essex singled to move Hill over to third, which was followed by a 2-RBI bases clearing single by South pitcher Dominik Bloedel, scoring Essex and Hill, as Smith followed with a single and Ed Morford drove in Bloedel with another RBI-single, before Smith was eventually driven in by Morford's brother Joe, whose RBI-single cut the Swan Valley lead to 10-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Taylor picked up the win for Swan Valley after giving up 2-runs on 3-hits and 6-walks, with 2-strikeouts through 3 1/3 innings, while Bloedel was tagged with the loss for STSLL after giving up 8-runs on 13-hits with zero-walks, while striking out 4-batters through 5 1/3 innings.
Essex closed out the game on the mound for Saginaw South, giving up 2-runs on 2-hits with 1-walk, while striking out 1-batter through 2/3 of an inning.
Pelt replaced Taylor in the fourth and gave up 1-run on 2-hits and 3-walks, with 3-strikeouts through 2-innings of relief, while Ian Graft closed out the game, giving up 3-runs on 5-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 2-batters to close out the final 2/3 of an inning for Swan Valley.
The top four batters in the Swan Valley batting order would account for all of the offense, led by Stephens who was 3 for 4 with 3-RBI's and 1-run scored, followed by Wagner, who finished just a homer shy of hitting for the cycle after going 3 for 4 with a single, double, triple, and 3-runs scored. Pelt was also 3 for 4 with 3-runs scored, followed by LaFond, who finished 2 for 4 with 2-RBI's and 3-runs scored.
Saginaw Township South was led by Smith, who was 2 for 2 with 1-RBI, 1-walk, and 1-run scored, and Essex, who finished 2 for 3 with 1-walk and 2-runs scored, followed by Bloedel, who was 2 for 4 with 2-RBI's and 1-run scored, along with Ed Morford, who finished 2 for 4 with 1-RBI. Joe Morford finished 1 for 3 with 1-RBI and 1-walk, while Kiley was 1 for 4 with 1-RBI, also reaching base on a fielders choice.
Swan Valley advances to take on Bay City Northwest in the losers bracket right back here at Bay City Southwest Little League at 6 pm on Friday night.
Saginaw Township North LL 2017 World Series Junior team honored tonight:
The 2017 NSTLL Junior All Star team, which won districts and the state championship last year, before going on to win the Central Region Championship, earning the right to represent the Great Lakes Region, where they ultimately finished 7th in the entire world at the 2017 Little League Junior World Series in Taylor, MI last summer was honored with a giant baseball sign at North Little League in Saginaw Township Thursday night prior to the 11U LLWS districts game.
Brady Alverson, Sam Bartels, Jack Bowerman, Matthew Cole, Quinn Konuszewski, Connor Krausneck, Nolan Matuszewski, Brady Mauer, Ethan Pittman, Thomas Schultz, Dominic Simpson, Mitchell Smith, and Carter Sullivan; along with Manager Dennis Konuszewski, and assistant Coaches Tim Smith and Jim Schultz, will all have their names forever remembered when the giant sign is hung on the outside wall of the NSTLL offices on Center rd. in Saginaw Township.