MARK — According to manager Dean Devert, his Spring Valley 9- and 10-Year-Old all-stars have been dreaming of hoisting the District 20 championship banner.
They realized that dream Sunday with a 3-1 win over Oglesby in the 9-10 tournament championship at Chuck Faletti Field in Mark.
“The kids are immensely excited,” said Devert, whose squad won the American Sub-District tournament before facing Oglesby in the championship series.
“They’ve been dreaming about this and couldn’t wait to get the banner.
“These guys have a lot of heart. They played great defense and they pitched real well. Pitching and defense win ballgames and these kids came and did it.”
With the win, Spring Valley advances to the Section 1 Tournament in Moline, where they will face District 18 at 8 p.m. Friday.
Spring Valley did its damage early as Payton Plym connected on an RBI single to score Grant Resetich for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
It kept the pressure on in the second inning as Brayden Bickett connected on an RBI double to score Nathaniel Mrovicki before coming in on a wild pitch himself to put Spring Valley up 3-0.
Oglesby answered with a run in the home half of the second when Mike Kaszinski wheeled in to score on a wild pitch after reaching base on a single, but that was all the offense it mustered in the championship affair.
Resetich earned the win on the pitching rubber for Spring Valley as he allowed the one run off three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Noah Pinter locked down the victory with a scoreless sixth inning of relief.
“Grant pitched a heck of a ball game and Payton (Plym) pitched a heck of game yesterday (in a 10-1 win over Oglesby) as well. Noah came in and closed it out as well. Our pitching has been phenomenal,” Devert said.
Offensively, Resetich was 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Cole Wozisiak was 2-for-3 for Spring Valley.
Connor Reese was charged the loss on the hill for Oglesby. He allowed three runs off five hits with five strikeouts and four walks over 3 2/3 innings before reaching the 75-pitch limit.
Mike Kaszinski was the only Oglesby All-Star to register multiple hits as he finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Oglesby coach Bob Reese was proud of the effort from his squad — the National Sub-District champs — which had the go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the sixth but couldn’t manage to plate any runs.
“We played really well to win that sub-district championship. … Tonight, we came out and played really hard. We hit the ball hard a few times, just right at them. That’s bad luck,” Reese said. “But other than that, I’m very proud of them and what they accomplished. I don’t know of any Oglesby Minor League team that has made it this far. I’m very impressed with the boys and how hard they worked and how much they came back and never gave up.”
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.