LA SALLE — It was one of those Little League contests where absolutely everything went well for one team, while almost all proved wrong for the other.
Fortunately for the Streator 11-Year-Old All-Stars, they ended up as the former rather than the latter.
The locals pounded out 17 hits, took advantage of 11 La Salle errors to plate 16 unearned runs and capitalized on 10 walks to completely run away with a 29-1, three-inning victory that opened District 20’s 11U tournament Wednesday evening here at Volunteer Field on the grounds of Hegeler Park in La Salle.
Streator hit around in all three of its at-bats, scoring 13 runs in the first inning and eight each in the second and third frames.
Three Streator pitchers — Landon Sterling, Matt Williamson (winner) and Jake Hagie — combined to hold La Salle to just one run on one hit while collectively striking out six and walking two in three innings of easy work as their ballclub advanced to the second round Thursday night where it will battle Ottawa National at 6 p.m. back on Volunteer Field.
"We tried to make it as good a game as possible," said Streator coach Jason Sterling. "It was tough for them but great for us to start the tournament in such a big way. We went up there swinging the bats, and I stopped managing pretty much and just let the kids do their thing. We're looking forward to keeping this momentum we started going and are very excited about our game tomorrow night."
Leading the way at the plate for Streator was Hagie, who went 4-for-5 with four runs scored and four runs batted in. Isaiah Weibel followed going 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs, while Nolan Lukach was 3-for-4 scoring three times and driving in two. Connor Dodge also enjoyed a nice night going 2-for-2 with four runs and two RBIs, as did Williamson who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and four runs scored.
A youthful La Salle club would get its only hit off the bat of Ryker Rolando while using a whopping six pitchers during the lopsided affair.
"We only had the opportunity to practice three times with this young group going into this tournament, so it’s very difficult to get off to a good start sometimes, and obviously we didn't tonight," said La Salle skipper Rick Nowakowski. "Unfortunately, our pitching staff is very young and most hadn't pitched a lot this year, and we made a bunch of errors in the field also. We're just trying to be positive for them out there and have a good experience win, lose or draw. That's all we care about."
In the monster 13-run top of the first, Streator had only four hits but saw seven La Salle errors which resulted in eight unearned tallies and four runs plating on miscues, while five markers came as the result of wild pitches. During the stanza, Weibel stroked a two-run single while Hagie and Blaize Bressner each produced RBI at-bats.
During the second frame, Streator plated six of its eight runs unearned after three La Salle gaffes. Dodge, Lukach and Landen Cook each had run-scoring hits in the stanza, while Weibel and Hagie each chipped in with two RBIs as the locals went ahead 21-0 just an inning and a half into the contest.
Streator would close out its scoring with eight more runs in the third courtesy of RBI plate appearances by Nick Plesko, David Paton, Colin Heider, Dodge, Hagie, Williamson and Lukach.
Williamson and Hagie then combined to strike out the La Salle side in the bottom of the third, which invoked the three-inning mercy rule and sent Streator on to face Ottawa National.
At Hegeler Park, La Salle
Streator All-Stars 29, La Salle All-Stars 1 (3 inn.)
STREATOR (29) — Hagie 1b/cf/p 5-4-4-4, Dodge ss 2-4-2-2, Sterling p/1b 4-1-0-0, Heider 3b 1-1-1-1, Weibel c 5-3-3-4, Williamson 3b/p 4-4-2-1, Bressner 2b 4-3-1-1, Lukach lf 4-3-3-2, Cook cf/3b 3-2-1-1, Plesko rf 0-1-0-0, Harcar rf 1-2-0-0, Paton lf 1-1-0-1. Totals 34-29-17-18.
LA SALLE (1) — Mudge rf 1-0-0-0, Crane rf/p 1-0-0-0, Wallace lf 1-0-0-0, Kozak lf/p 1-0-0-0, Gonzales 2b/p 2-0-0-0, Hermes cf 0-0-0-0, Acosta pr 0-1-0-0, Rios 3b/p 0-0-0-0, Tutko ss 1-0-0-0, Medina 1b/p/lf 1-0-0-0, Rolando c 1-0-1-1, Gagliardo p/3b/2b/rf 1-0-0-0. Totals 10-1-1-1.
Streator (13)88 — 29 17 0
La Salle 010 – 1 1 11
LOB – Streator 7, La Salle 2. 2B – Williamson 2, Lukach. 3B – Hagie. SB – Weibel, Lukach, Cook, Harcar. HBP – Harcar (by Crane), Dodge (by Crane).
Streator ip r er h bb k
Sterling 1.0 1 1 0 2 2
Williamson (W) 1.2 0 0 1 0 3
Hagie 0.1 0 0 0 0 1
Gagliardo (L) 0.1 7 5 3 4 0
Rios 0.0 5 0 1 2 0
Gonzales 0.2 3 2 2 0 0
Crane 1.0 6 0 4 0 0
Medina 0.0 5 5 2 3 0
Kozak 1.0 3 1 5 1 1