SPRINGFIELD — It took a little longer than they had hoped, but the Mount Vernon 13-year-old All-Stars got a bit of redemption on Thursday night in Springfield.
Playing in the 2010 Babe Ruth State Championship at Carleton Davidson Stadium, the All-Stars, sponsored by Ariel, built a small lead and then held off the Newark Moundbuilders, 8-2, to win the state title. The All-Stars, most of whom were part of last year’s 12-year-old Little League state runner-up team, put together a solid game, and got timely hitting to defeat Moundbuilders.
“Not looking back or anything, we had some unfinished business,” said Mount Vernon manager Phil Arck. “We wanted it last year, but we got it this year. We got it done. The last three weeks, we’ve put it together. These kids have been playing on different teams all year, but they came together as a team. I thought they played really good ball.”
Alex Arck pitched a solid game for Mount Vernon, allowing just three hits over seven innings. He walked two and hit three batsmen, while striking out seven for the win. Mount Vernon’s defense also performed at a high level, making just one miscue and stranding seven Newark runners on base.
“This is huge,” said Alex Arck. “We really wanted to win this. We gave it our best. We knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Moundbuilders, which fell to Mount Vernon, 21-3, in the winner’s bracket final on Wednesday, did its best to get at Mount Vernon early. It failed in its efforts, however. Arck left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning after striking out Robbie Waddell. The other two outs came on defensive plays by Griffen Menke and Tyler Galbraith.
Mount Vernon also threatened in the bottom of the first, getting two runners on with one out, but a popout in foul territory coupled with Ryan Fitzgerald getting caught off second base ended the inning.
The All-Stars set Moundbuilders down in order in the second inning, and went to work in the bottom of the frame. Newark starter Tate VanFossen ran into some trouble, walking Galbraith and Menke to lead off the inning. Greg Dennis hit an RBI single to right to score Galbraith, and Michael Lanning hit a sacrifice fly to plate Menke. Dennis stole second and moved to third on an infield single by Nathan Davis. J.D. Orr then brought him in with an RBI groundout for a 3-0 lead.
Arck and his teammates put Moundbuilders away in order again in the third before adding another run to their lead. In all, Newark went down in order in four of the seven innings played. Arck singled in the bottom of the third, and Tyler Hedrick followed with a single. Galbraith then drew a walk to load the bases. Arck ended up scoring after a passed ball for a 4-0 lead. The All-Stars loaded the bases again with one out, but VanFossen struck out the final two batters to limit the damage.