PITTSBURG — Last night in Pittsburg, the top baseball players from all seven of JL Hutchinson Baseball League’s little leagues split up into teams, put on red and blue jerseys and played against each other for the chance to wrap up their 2019 summer baseball season with a win.
9’s All Star Game
In the 9-year-old division, the red team walked off the field with a 15-10 victory.
The team was coached by Kevin Deao and Adam Hull, and consisted of players Gavin Crager, Camden Deao, James Deierling, Max Imhof, Collin Jones, Reid Mishmash, Landen Proffitt, Colton Widmer, Brayden Wilson, Lucal Hull and Weston Koenig.
Deao, who found out who his team was a week ago and didn’t know all of the kids on his team, said he wanted his players to use the game as a learning experience.
“It was just all about the kids having fun,” Deao said. “I asked them all at the beginning of the game the two positions they wanted to play. I tried to get them into those positions, let kids play positions they didn’t get to play during the regular season — just get out there and have fun… in the end, all I cared about was that they had a good time.”
Deao said although Landen Proffitt’s pitching and Max Imhof’s hits toward the end of the game stood out, the team competed well as a unit.
“Really, everyone did a good job,” Deao said. “They all went out there and just had fun, and played really well. Everyone had fun and that’s 100 percent the most important thing.”
11’s All Star Game
For the 11-year-old All Stars, it was the blue team walking off the field with a 12-3 victory.
The team was coached by Steve Radell and Ryan McNeely, and comprised of players Lane Stulz, KeyonDre Logan, Anthony Scremmer, Carter Bailey, Tyler Schartz, Brock Radell, Carsten Simmons, Esvin Alberto Mendez, Courtland Jones, Mason Deringer, Kane See, Christian Morris and Parker Pinamonti.
Radell said his players’ biggest strength was defensive pitching.
“Defensively, we did the best because we held them to three runs,” Radell said. “Honestly, the other team blocked us a bunch, so with the walks we were able to score a lot more runs. We didn’t have many hits, but the bottom line was it was the walks that gave us the runs, while our pitching kept their runs down.”
Radell said he was also proud of his team’s collective hitting. He was most happy, however, to see the newly-formed sportsmanship and unity between players who don’t normally play together and go to different schools.
“It’s honestly not a big deal because it’s an exhibition team where two teams come together,” Radell said. “You don’t try to do anything too silly, too competitive — just making sure you teach the fundamentals and the kids come and play and have a good time. What was most memorable? Just the smiles and the laughter and just playing a well-balanced game. That’s what I take out of it.”
The All Star Tournament marks the conclusion of the 2019 summer little league season.