Pictured in photo:
Bottom Row (Left to Right) Jake Stone, Nicholas Hock, Hayden Welles, Jack Bortle, Dominic Varrasso, Noah Heath, Andrew Phau
Second Row (Left to Right) Jack Calesaric, Grant Van Winkle, Casey Boch, Curtis Clark, Andy Hoben, Mitch Kunar
Third Row: (Coaches Left to Right) Chad Bortle, Charlie Dutton, Darin Heath, Ed Hock
It started as a vision 2 years ago with a few parents and community leaders to make Granville a competitive place to play youth sports. This vision became reality as the Granville 10U Blue All-Stars Team became the Little League District 5 Champions the weekend of July 13th in Cambridge, Ohio.
Led by manager, Charlie Dutton, the Granville All-Stars played 5 games over 6 days, winning 4, to take home the title. In its first game vs. the Cambridge 10 year All-Star Team, the Aces were down 3-1, when the Ace’s bats woke up and scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Aces then tact on an additional 7 runs in the 5th inning to win the game 14 to 4.
In its second game vs. Lancaster All Stars, the Aces roared to victory. This put Granville in the Winners Bracket and a showdown against their local rival the Lakewood All-Stars. Both the Aces (Granville) and the Lancers (Lakewood) played a hard fought game. The duel went back and forth, each team putting runs on the scoreboard. Both teams had outstanding pitching, fielding, and hitting, but Granville was able to escape when they were able to score 5 runs in the top of the 5th. The Aces were then able to keep the Lancers bats silent in the last inning to pull out the victory 13-8.
This put the Ace’s in the driver’s seat to obtain the District Championship. The Lancers then had to beat New Guernsey County All Stars in order to seek out their revenge against the Aces. The Lancers took care of business beating New Guernsey, forcing a second showdown against the Aces. In order for Lakewood to take home the district title, they would need to beat the undefeated Aces, twice.
In the second meeting, the Lancer’s were up to the challenge and jumped to a 2-0 in their second at bat. The Lancer then pounded the ball scoring 7 runs in the third. However, the Aces did not help the cause by committing several errors in the inning. After a motivational speech given by Coach Dutton, the Aces bats woke up scoring 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, but it was not enough and the Aces ran out of steam. The Lancers forced a second game against the yielding Aces.
After a 30-minute break, the Lancers and Aces were going to play not only for the District 5 title, but also community bragging rights. It was 9 PM; bedtime for most of the boys, and the summer night came alive with the bright lights on the baseball diamond. The atmosphere was filled with tension, just like Game 7 of the World Series. Players knocked the dirt from their cleats and got ready for the big battle.
Granville struck first, putting 5 runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Lancers would not give up. The Lancer’s bats caught fire as they scored 6 runs in the top 4th. When the Aces came to bat in the bottom 4th, they knew they had to dig deep to etch out the victory. They were up to the challenge. The Aces tact on 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th. With the score 9-7, the Aces had to execute two innings of flawless defense. The Aces were up to the challenge. The Ace’s pitcher threw strikes and the fielders made the plays to hold on to the victory.9-7. Granville had won their 1st District Title and a dream turned into reality.
Both teams will now play in the Little League Regional Tournament set to play the weekend of July 20th in Mount Vernon. If they meet again, expect another battle.