WEST MEAD TOWNSHIP — The Vernon/Lake/Valley 8-10 Year Old all-stars struck early and often to top Meadville 7-3 in the District 1 winner’s bracket final on Saturday at the Crawford County Fairgrounds.
With the win, the V/L/V crew — also known as the Northwest All-Stars — advance to Wednesday’s championship game, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Fairgrounds.
Meadville drops to the loser’s bracket where it will take on Cochranton on Monday at 6 p.m. for a shot at the title rounds.
V/L/V was made its bid for the title game early on, scoring a pair of runs in both the first and second innings of yesterday’s game.
In the first, Caiden Loucks hit a lead-off single and scored. Wyatt Luke walked and scored.
Free bags also played a role in the second inning as Isaac Milligan was hit by a pitch and Owen Grafton got on board with a walk. That was followed by an RBI single by Loucks, and some heads-up base-runnining to get Grafton home.
Meadville cut into Vernon/Lake/Valley’s lead with two runs in the third. Noah Young got things going with a one-out single. Then Kael Armstrong brought him home with a double to right-center field. And Armstrong followed him in a short time later on a wild pitch.
After that, however, V/L/V’s relief pitcher, Luke, did a nice job of keeping Meadville off the scoreboard. He would pitch three-innings plus and strike out seven batters.
And the Northwest offense managed to add to its lead with three runs in the fourth. Grafton and Loucks both singled and scored in the inning (Loucks would go 4-for-4 from the plate for the game) and Luke doubled in a run and scored with two outs.
Meadville did manage to load the bases in the sixth inning. Meadville got a run home when Jared Grubbs was forced in with a leadoff walk, bringing the tying run to the plate.
Yet, V/L/V and its closer, Max Carr, were able to get out of the jam with no more damage done.
Meadville 002 001 — 3 3 0
Vernon/Lake/Valley 220 30x — 7 8 0
Batteries: M — Miller, Mahoney (3), Armstrong (4) and Armstrong, Mahoney (4); VLV — Medrick, Luke (3), Carr (6) and O’Grady.
Highlights: M — Armstrong doubled and scored, Fabian and Lauer both hit singled; VLV — Loucks was 4-for-4 and scored two runs, Luke doubled and scored, Grafton singled and scored two runs.
TC17s fall into silver bracket
DALLAS — The Tool City 17U boys volleyball team saw its roll come to an end on Saturday as it lost its first two matches and fell into the Silver playoff bracket at the 2019 USAV Boys Junior National Championships.
The local squad opened with a 25-14, 25-16 loss to SMBC South 17 Adidas, but was still eligible for a spot in the Gold playoff bracket if it could finish in the top two of the pool. That ended in the very next match as Pilipa’a VBC 17s notched a 25-18, 25-17 sweep. Tool City had one pool match left against City Beach Boys 17 Black, but that turned out to be a 25-20, 25-15 loss as well.
A day earlier, Tool City avoided a similar let down by winning its first two matches in second round pool play. Because of those two wins, the squad was able to stay in the main bracket. TC 17U first beat West Edge 17 by scores of 25-20, 25-17. TC17 followed that with a 27-25, 21-25, 15-5 win over Indy Assault 17-1. The loss was a 25-15, 25-11 setback to Pure Aloha 17-1.
While relegated to the Silver playoffs, Tool City is still in position to snag a high finish in Dallas. They open against Ku’ikahi 17R RoShamBo, and need two wins to reach the final for a chance to finish ninth in the 50-team field.
Also in action Friday was Tool City 16U, which played its final bracket of the tournament. TC16 opened with a 23-25, 25-19, 15-12 win over City Beach Boys Green, but dropped a 25-17, 22-25, 15-12 decision to Exile 16 Red in the Flight 6 semifinals to place in a tied for 65th out of the 74 teams competing in Dallas.