By Steve Joos
The weather was better early last week, but so was the competition in the District 13 12-year-old Little League baseball game at Golfmoor.
The hosts jumped on North Posey for four runs in the bottom of the first inning and went from there to post a 10-0 victory last week.
“We ran into a good team,” Coach Rob Voegel said. “We didn’t put the bat on the ball, we missed our spots a bit with our pitches, but we fought hard.”
Golfmoor hit North Posey coming and going, striking for four runs in the bottom of the first and then ending the contest with a five-run fifth inning. A one-out double scored the game-ending run.
Voegel was philosophical about the loss, adding that the team showed a great deal of potential.
“We had a couple of opportunities to get out of (the bottom of the fifth),” Voegel said. “We had a couple of ground balls that we didn’t make the plays on, but this is a good group. I told them, ‘in the grand scheme of things, losing a Little League championship doesn’t compare to winning a Sectional championship.’”
Offensively, North Posey was held to three hits and five baserunners total. The 12-year-olds put two runners on in the top of the fourth inning, but couldn’t get anyone home.
The team fought hard and posted a 4-2 record coming out of one of the toughest brackets in the area.
The title tilt was moved back a night due to lightning, the second such weather-related interruption to the tourney.
Good pitching, error-free defense and hits at just the right time was how North Posey reached the championship game.
Grant Parker singled, moved around to third and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second inning and then made it stand up as North Posey edged Highland 1-0 to reach the championship game of the District 13 12-year-old All-Star Little League baseball tournament in the tourney semifinals.
It was simply put, a duel, and North Posey had enough to pull things out.
“It was a hard-fought, six inning game,” Voegel said. “We had timely hitting, we pitched an excellent game, we played very good defense. The pitching and defense kept us in the game and the hitting finally put us on the board.”
Parker singled with one out in the bottom of the second inning and North Posey got all the offense it would need when he took second on a ground out, went to third on an infield hit by Alec Goetz and scored on a wild pitch.
But after that, things got hairy on both ends.
A potential second run was thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning for North Posey, but the 12-year-olds needed plenty of support when Highland was at the plate, ending the top of the first with a double play and then escaping a bases-loaded situation in the fifth on a force at third.
Voegel praised his defense for playing well throughout the tournament and was especially pleased with the pitching.
“I can’t say enough about our pitching,” the coach said. “Jordan Goedde pitched one of the best games I’ve seen him throw. Brandon Hamman came in and got those two strikeouts.”
Hamman relieved with one out in the top of the sixth and struck out two Highland batters to salt away the win.
After going 2-1 in pool play, the 12-year-olds took a forfeit over Petersburg to open the week after heavy lightning throughout the area forced the postponement of their game, moving them into the semifinals.
“We’ve been playing well,” Voegel said. “The pitchers have been throwing well; we’ve been getting timely hitting. We can still play together better and put together six good innings and when we do that, we can be competitive.”
The lone loss was to Golfmoor, 6-0, in a game that was closer than the score indicated. North Posey trailed 1-0 for most of the contest, but a five-run fifth inning broke things open for the Evansville team.
Goedde and Grant Parker pitched two and two-thirds innings of shutout ball, but the offense was silent, as Golfmoor’s pitcher tossed a no-hitter.
North Posey rallied to win their season opener 5-4 over Highland.
Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth, a single by David Bender and an error cut the lead in half. Then in the sixth inning, Wes Voegel led off with a double and Hamman belted a two-run homer to knot things up at 4-4. Bender came back to win the game with a bases-loaded single over a drawn-in Highland offense.
Bender and Hamman each had two hits, while Voegel, Parker, Goedde and Goetz each had one. Voegel and Hamman combined to keep Highland in check from the mound.
“We battled for six innings and never gave up,” Voegel said “This was a true ‘team win.’”
Hamman was hitting .600 through the first three games of the tournament, with four hits, including a double and home run against Haubstadt in North Posey’s second pool win, a 14-11 slugfest.
North Posey banged out 19 hits and scored 14 runs while building a 10-run lead through five innings, only to let Haubstadt back into the contest with seven runs in the last two frames. Defensive mistakes were the key reason for Haubstadt’s comeback, Voegel said.
Wes Voegel was the winning pitcher and had three hits in the game, as did Parker. Austin Pierson, Madison Wassmer, Goetz and Goedde each had two blows, wile Cody Reese added one.
Dylan O’Brien and Carter Martin were the other players on the North Posey 12-year-old roster.
By Steve Joos
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