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Rockford 11U (Black) All-Stars Claim District 9 Pool B

By Jeannie Gregory, 07/11/19, 10:30PM EDT


The District 9 Little League All-Star Pool B Champions. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

Beickman throws no-hitter, Johnson nets home run

ROCKFORD – The Rockford Little League 11U (Black) All-Stars were once again a force to be feared on the diamond, Thursday, July 11. The team took on Southern East and only needed four innings to secure the 10-0 victory and the District 9 Pool B championship. They now move on to bracket play and face off against the other Pool winners for the District 9 title.

It didn’t take long for Rockford to fire up their bats, pushing four runs across the plate in the first inning, after pitcher Grahm Beickman held Southern East scoreless – and hitless, for that matter – in the top of the stanza. Eli Johnson started the Rockford offensive onslaught with a double to left field. With two outs, Breckton Meeuwsen scored Johnson on a single to center. Quinn Geshel hit a single and both he and Meeuwsen advanced on the throw. Mason Plain hit a hard ground ball to the perfect place – right field – to plate Meeuwsen and move Geshel to third and move the score to 2-0. Cole Mason followed at the plate and earned a free ride. Beickman helped his own cause and smashed a single to center field scoring Geshel and Plain for the 4-0 lead to close out the inning.

Rockford continued their offensive onslaught, scoring two runs in the second inning off of a double by Bryce Miller, a single by Johnson, and a double from Meeuwsen. Johnson alertly took home on a passed ball, and Rockford claimed a 6-0 lead at the end of the second. Southern East batters were completely stymied by Beickman, barely putting the ball in play as the Rockford pitcher continued pitching a gem. Rockford, however, plated another two runs in the bottom of the third. Nehemiah Kusreau set the stage with a single, and Johnson came up to the plate with two outs. On a 3-1 pitch, Johnson sent a screamer over the left field fence to plate two runs for Rockford and move the score to 8-0. A walk-off single by Kusreau scoring Geshel and Plain earned Rockford the 10-0 mercy in the bottom of the fourth.

Beickman was masterful on the mound, completely frustrating the opposition and pitching a no-hitter, only tossing 56 pitches – both an oddity in Little League ball. In four innings, he struck out five and walked only three. Not only giving their pitcher a strong defensive backing, Rockford was a strong 12-for-22 at the plate as a team. A true team victory, seven players tallied at least one hit, and another two (Cole Mason and Daniel Toole) earned free rides. Johnson paced the team going 3-for-3 (HR) with 3 RBI. Kusreau (2RBI) and Plain (1RBI) were both 2-for-2 and Meeuwsen was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI. Beickman (2RBI), Miller (2B) and Geshel each tallied a hit to help the Ram cause.

The team will practice and then take up their bats and gloves again in competition, Wednesday, July 17, as they take on Western in bracket play. Location and time is still yet to be determined. Hudsonville and Georgetown will face off in the other bracket in the double elimination tournament.

Eli Johnson rounds the bases. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

Quinn Geshel scores in the All-Star game. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

Eli Johnson touches home and is congratulated by his teammates for going yard. ~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel

~ Photo by Elizabeth Geshel