MOUNT VERNON — After struggling in a loss to Kokosing Valley on Sunday, the Mount Vernon 10-year-old all-star team needed a confidence booster Monday.
The team gave itself the shot in the arm it needed, cranking up the offense and beating the Mount Vernon 9-year-old all-star team, 14-3, in the loser’s bracket final of the District 5 preliminary tournament. The win set up a rematch with Kokosing Valley and ensured the 10-year-olds a trip to the district tournament next week.
“I was worried. We had a lot of physical mistakes yesterday. And, you’re talking about 10-year-olds, so you never know how they’re going to react,” said MV 10-year-old all-star manager Brian Grabow. “We kept our focus, came out and produced from the first inning on. That was exciting.”
The 10s came out swinging from the first pitch, scoring four times in the first inning. An error and a walk got things going for the 10s, then Landon Fry cranked up the offense and the excitement with a two-run double. Ryan Tiell singled and both Fry and Tiell ended up scoring in the first.
Mount Vernon kept it going in the second. Keaton Pratt, Aaron Stallard and Kamden Breckler all singled to start the inning for the 10s. Fry followed with another RBI double and Tiell drove in another with a double of his own. Before the 9-year-olds knew what hit them, they trailed 8-0.
“We were swinging the bats and making contact. If you put the ball in play, good things will happen,” Grabow said. “And it wasn’t fly balls, we were hitting line drives. We made sure we were focused. We came out with our game faces on.”