OGLESBY — Ask any coach at any level of baseball what the keys to being successful are, and most will tell you good pitching and solid defense with a little hitting mixed in is the formula for winning games.
The Streator 10-Year-Old All-Stars excelled in all three facets of the game in a 7-0 victory against their Ottawa American 10-Year-Old All-Star counterparts during Tuesday's District 20 contest here at Sunny Bottomley Field within Dickinson Park in Oglesby.
Streator now plays Oglesby in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, while Ottawa drops to the bottom bracket where it will face the winner of La Salle and Peru at 7:30 that same night.
Streator led 1-0 after three frames, but gave itself breathing room with a four-run fourth and added two more tallies in the fifth.
In the game-changing fourth, Keegan Angelico — who had singled to lead off the second and scored on an RBI groundout by Koldin Newman to give Streator the early lead — drew a one-out walk off Ottawa starter and losing pitcher Lucas Farabaugh (3 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K). Sam Seaton, the first of three straight pinch-hitters, then laced a triple down the right-field line to plate Angelico.
Brady Elias followed with a three-bagger of his own to center and came across on a wild pitch to make it 4-0. Billy Galyen then drew a walk off reliever Jacob Armstrong (1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 1 K) and scored on Talon Melvin's single up the middle.
"I believe in every single kid on this team the same amount, but only nine kids can start, and everyone has a job to do," said Streator manager Nick Price when asked about his trio of kids coming off the bench. "I thought we played a really good team game. We didn't have a superstar today, but all the kids did what we asked them to do, and they are great teammates.
"We had a great combination of good pitching and defense, obviously, to keep Ottawa off the scoreboard. They hit some balls really well, but our kids just made the plays."
Streator put the game's final two runs on the board in the fifth as Nolan Price coaxed a one-out walk and scored on Angelico's triple to center. Angelico took advantage of a wild throw from the outfield to scamper home.
Starter Cole Winterrowd (2 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K), winning pitcher Aiden Wilkenson (1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K) and Elias (2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K) combined for Streator on the two-hit shutout.
Ethan Snell and Armstrong each posted a single for Ottawa, which produced the play of the game in the third when second baseman Snell made a great running catch down the line in short right field and then turned and threw to catcher Joey Liebhart to cut down a runner trying to tag up and score. Liebhart also pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief with a strikeout.
"You can't win ballgames if you don't score," said Ottawa American manager Pat Bryson. "We only had two hits, all three Streator kids pitched well, and they are a good team. Their kids play together all year long, which makes it tough. They are a travel team that plays District 20, and we've practiced together for two weeks, which makes it hard. We hung with them for the first three innings, and then they just kind of beat us down from there.
"So now we just take it one day, one game at a time. Hopefully we can battle back and maybe we'll get another chance to play Streator later this week."
At Sunny Bottomley Field, Oglesby
Streator All-Stars 7, Ottawa American All-Stars 0
STREATOR (7) — Melvin 2b 4-0-2-1, Winterrowd p/1b 3-0-1-0, Christoff 3b 2-0-1-0, Wilkenson 1b/p/lf 2-0-1-0, Price ss 2-1-0-0, Angelico cf 2-3-2-1, Hoekstra c 1-0-0-0, Seaton rf 1-1-1-1, Newman lf 1-0-0-1, Elias p 2-1-1-1, Stevens lf 1-0-0-0, Galyen 3b 1-1-0-0. Totals 22-7-9-5.
OTTAWA A. (0) — Liebhart c/p 3-0-0-0, Bryson cf 3-0-0-0, Farabaugh p 3-0-0-0, Araujo ss 2-0-0-0, Stone lf 1-0-0-0, Twait cf 1-0-0-0, Carrier 1b 1-0-0-0, Munson 1b 1-0-0-0, Armstrong 3b/p 2-0-1-0, Snell 2b 1-0-1-0, Graham 2b 1-0-0-0, Sexton rf 1-0-0-0, Mosley rf 1-0-0-0. Totals 21-0-2-0.
Streator 010 420 — 7 9 2
Ottawa A. 000 000 — 0 2 1
LOB — Streator 4, Ottawa American 3. DPT — Ottawa American 1. 3B — Angelico, Seaton, Elias. SB — Melvin. CS — Wilkenson, Newman. HBP — Christoff (by Farabaugh), Wilkenson (by Armstrong).
Streator ip r er h bb k
Winterrowd 2.0 0 0 0 0 3
Wilkenson (W) 1.2 0 0 1 0 3
Elias 2.1 0 0 1 0 2
Farabaugh (L) 3.1 4 4 4 2 6
Armstrong 1.0 3 2 3 3 1
Liebhart 1.2 0 0 1 0 1