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home : sports : sports   May 24, 2016

7/9/2013 9:29:00 PM
Peru wins D20 Junior League baseball tounament

Jake Schmollinger fires off a pitch for the Peru All-StarsNewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
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Jake Schmollinger fires off a pitch for the Peru All-Stars

NewsTribune photo/Chris Yucus
Chris Yucus
NewsTribune Photographer

The Peru Junior League All-Stars are moving on.

Peru broke open a tie with Bi-County in the bottom of the seventh inning as Nico Martinez raced  home on a wild pitch to give his team an 8-7 win and the District 20 championship banner Tuesday at Washington Park in Peru.
The victory advances Peru to the Section I Tournament in Mendota, where they will open play at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20th.

“We had to work for it tonight,” said Peru manager Ed Mitchell. “The boys played well, but there were a few more errors than I expected — up until now we only had three or four previous errors. We had more than we wanted this game.”

Martinez led off the top of the seventh with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from No. 9 hitter Tommy Somolski. Leadoff hitter Mitchell Olson then moved Martinez over to third with a ground out to the right side of the infield to set up the final score with No. 2 hitter Mario Giacobazzi at the plate.

“The end of the game was a perfect opportunity on the steal of home. Nico did a great job reading it,” Mitchell said. “We’ve worked hard on the bunt this year, and it’s been effective all throughout the tournament.”
Bi-County, who fell to Peru 7-3 earlier in the double-elimination tournament, struck first with a run in the top of the first off a RBI double from Lucas Lenkaitis.

Peru responded with three runs in the bottom of the second, highlighted by a two-RBI single to left center from Martinez.

The Peru All-Stars continued the offensive pressure in the next inning as well, adding three more runs as Adam Lenkaitis had an RBI single and Somolski drove a two-RBI single to center.

Not content to quit, Bi-County tightened things up with three runs in the top of the fifth. Connor Bean led off the frame with a single, and eventually came in to score on a balk. Calib Cook helped cook up the rest of the damage for BC with a two-RBI double to left that made it 6-4 in favor of Peru.

After Peru went up 7-4 on an RBI fielder’s choice from Olsen in the home half of the inning, Bi-County struck again with another trio of runs in the top of the sixth.

Logan Kreiser came in to score on a Peru throwing error after reaching base on a walk, and Matthew Magana made it a brand new ball game at 7-7 with a two-RBI shot to the left field corner.

We battled and we’ve done that the whole tournament,” said Bi-County manager Eric Bean. “We gave up a few runs early and then kept chipping away. They gave us a few back on some miscues, but that happens in junior league baseball.

“We fought. The guys did what I asked them to,” Bean said. “We could have rolled over and quit - and we didn’t. We put the ball in play, they made a few miscues and we capitalized.

Peru pitcher Jake Schmollinger picked up the win in relief. Schmollinger worked two innings and gave up one run off one hit with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Starter Ryan Shevlin was charged for six runs off 10 hits with three strikeouts and three walks over the first five innings.

Calib Cook took the loss in relief, working two innings and allowing one run off two hits with a pair of strikeouts and one walk.

Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.

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