MOUNT VERNON — It was a battle all the way, but the Centerburg 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars proved just a little too aggressive on the basepaths as they ran past the Mount Vernon 9-year-olds, 18-12, in Wednesday’s District 5 Little League tournament game.
Centerburg came right out and scored six runs in the top of the first, sending nine batters to the plate. Back-to-back RBI singles by second baseman Brayden Lama and first baseman Sam Bassett highlighted the inning.
“Our goal is to be aggressive and put runs on the board and let the defense stand for itself,” said Centerburg coach Chad Siegel. “We pitched pretty well, and we hit, and I was pleased with that. When you put 18 runs on the board, you’ve hit the baseball.”
Mount Vernon pitcher Brice Dobbs settled down and retired the final two batters he faced in the first. Dobbs managed to hold Centerburg to a run in the second and third innings, while he and his teammates chipped away at the lead.
Mount Vernon shortstop Gary Rucker doubled and scored on a second inning RBI single by Dayne Burgess. Later in the inning, catcher Blake Mrumlinski singled home Burgess. Mount Vernon scored four more runs in the bottom of the third inning, including a two-RBI single by Rucker. Dobbs and centerfielder Gabe Shuman scored on the play.
Still leading, 8-6, Centerburg came to bat in the top of the fourth and benefitted from four walks and a hit batsman, along with a single from Bassett to tally four more runs.
“We dug ourselves a hole by giving up six runs in the first inning,” said Mount Vernon coach Brad Bowers. “Too many walks. We had five errors, nine walks and two batters hit by a pitch. You can’t win too many ballgames like that.”