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MOLINE — The Spring Valley 9- and 10-year-old baseball team battled throughout the Section 5 Tournament in Moline.
In Monday’s title game, however, it ran out of ammunition.
After the District 20 champions fell to Manteno 19-10 Friday, Spring Valley never gave up over the weekend as it beat Rock Falls 3-2 Saturday and Moline National 13-10 Sunday to avoid elimination and advance into Monday’s title game.
“These kids have a lot of heart,” Spring Valley manager Dean Devert said. “They know how to play and they know how to win, and they have a lot of fun. They are a loose group, like each other and hang out together. It’s just the greatest group of kids that any coach could ask for. I’m so proud of them.”
Unfortunately for Spring Valley, its run came to an end Monday as it fell to Manteno 13-0 in four innings.
“We knew they were a tough team coming in,” Devert said. “We played them Friday and we just had one bad inning. I think if we would’ve knocked them off Friday we would’ve gotten them tonight because our pitching would’ve been a lot different than it was.”
Unfortunately for Spring Valley, its offense never got started as Manteno pitcher Luke Trepanier threw a four-inning no-hitter. He walked just two batters and allowed only five baserunners.
“He just threw strikes,” Devert said. “We saw him Friday night and he was better today than he was Friday. The zone was a little different Friday than it was today, but the zone was equal for both teams. Frankly, we just ran out of pitching. However, the kids still battled and I’m really proud of them.”
Manteno took control in the top of the first inning and never let up.
The first two Manteno batters reached to start the game as the squad scored three runs in the first and added two more in the second to take a 5-0 lead midway through the second inning.
Manteno kept adding on as in the third it added four runs and then four more in the fourth to take the 13-0 cushion.
In all, Manteno pounded out 13 hits against three Spring Valley pitchers and all 13 runs were earned.
“We knew it was going to be tough and we were going to have to play some good defense,” Devert said. “These guys can hit.”
Spring Valley second baseman Carter Devert walked to start the bottom of the first but was forced at second on a fielder’s choice by Grant Resetich.
Two innings later, left fielder Logan Zeglis walked with one out but was forced at second on a fielder’s choice by Devert.
A batter later, Resetich reached on an error and took second on a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with two outs, but Trepanier induced an infield groundout to end Spring Valley’s best scoring threat of the game.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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