Meadville Tribune


July 10, 2014

Lake/Linesville makes statement in win

WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — If the 9 & 10 Year Old District 1 baseball bracket was a story, then the Conneaut Lake/Linesville All-Stars finished it off with an exclamation point Wednesday at the Crawford County Fairgrounds Fields.

And it was Lake/Linesville’s Ryan Richardson dotting that exclamation point with the tournament’s first and only home run — a grand slam in the first inning — helping LL defeat French Creek Valley American 13-3 for the 2014 District 1 championship.

“Proud of them,” said Lake/Linesville head coach Fred Garvey. “Great team, great kids. We had a great tournament.”

Lake/Linesville will return to the fairgrounds on Monday when it takes on District 25 representative Franklin in the opening round of the Pennsylvania Section 1 tournament. Game time is 8:30 p.m.

“I was asking our (league) president today, ‘When was the last time we did anything like this?’” said Garvey.  “And he said it’s been a long, long time.

“But these kids have worked hard. They’re great players and they’re really coming on. They just love baseball and they work hard.”

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the first, Lake/Linesville’s offense went right to work. Alex Nottingham led it off with a single to left. Owen Garvey reached on an error. Then Brady Walker walked to load the bases.

Up came the left-handed hitter Richardson. And he spanked a no-doubt-about-it rocket over the fence in right field, quickly pushing LL in front 4-2.

“How about Ryan Richardson,” said coach Garvey, “a grand slam for his first home run. First home run ever! And it was gone. Man, he smoked it.”

Lake/Linesville tacked on one more run in the inning. Mason Walker followed Richardson’s homer with a single. The Jaden Mihoci hit a double to the gap in right-center to bring Walker home.

LL then scored four more runs in the third. Mason Walker singled and scored. Trent Roncaglione walked and scored. Kyle White brought both runners home with a single to right and later scored on an error. And Brendon Schellman reached on an error and scored on another error.

The Lake/Linesville kids then put the game away with four runs in the fourth. Brady Walker, Richardson and Mason Walker hit three straight singles to lead off the inning. Mason Walker’s knock up the middle brought in two runs. He would later come home on a wild pitch.

Finally, Cooper Baum drew a walk and eventually scored the game-ender on a two-out single by Owen Garvey that just tapped the left field line.

All together, LL had a dozen base hits. Mason Walker was 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs. Nottingham was 2-for-3 and also walked and reached on an error. And Richardson was 2-for-3 with the homer, four RBIs and two runs scored.

“We showed our bats,” said coach Garvey. “We hit the ball really well.”

LL also got a great pitching performance out of Brady Walker, who allowed three runs on five hits through four innings. He did not walk a batter and he struck out five.

“He was amazing,” said Garvey. “We had Owen ready to go if he ever got in trouble but we never needed him.”

At the plate for FCVA, Henry Shaffer was 2-for-2. He led off the first and third innings with singles and scored both times. Dylan Flinchbaugh hit an RBI double and scored in the first. Zach Balog and Isaac Johnson also hit singles.

“Lake/Linesville is a very good team, just like we’re a very good team as well,” said FCVA head coach Todd Ishimaru. “But today they came to play and they did extremely well.

“But we’re very proud of these Saegertown boys right here. We’re very proud of them. And we wish Lake/Linesville the best of luck representing District 1 and we’ll be pulling for them.”

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A South Carolina woman was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The decision has created a debate over “free-range” parenting and whether it’s a good idea or not. What’s your take?

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