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10U All-Stars Claim State Title

By Jeannie Gregory, 08/03/18, 3:30PM EDT

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Rockford's All-Star team brings home the first 10U Little League State Championship. Photo by Jeannie Gregory/RockfordRoar

BAY CITY – There are certain points in a game that show what a team is made of. Rockford’s 10U All-Star team faced that in the Little League State Championship game very early, Friday, August 43 Their opponent, Mount Pleasant, had just put three runs up on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning – that’s a lot of runs to plate in a state finals match-up. But, when the Rockford team ran off the field, there wasn’t any fear in their eyes, just determination.

Rockford’s first batter, Chase Pitsch stood in the batter’s box and let the Mount Pleasant team know what his team was all about. He slammed a liner to right field for a triple. Eli Johnson followed with an RBI single, with Pitsch claiming home from third to move the score to 3-1. Johnson moved to second on the throw when Pitsch scored. Carter VanderTuig knocked a single to right field to move Johnson to third. With the pitcher’s back to him, Johnson sped to home to move the score to 3-2.

Rockford pitcher VanderTuig was exceptional on the mound in the second, shutting down Mount Pleasant and causing three consecutive outs. First baseman Drew Ramm backed him in the field, handling two ground-outs, and then Chase Pitsch made a spectacular catch in center for the third.

The game stayed at 3-2, with Mount Pleasant holding the lead until the bottom of the fourth when Rockford made some noise at the plate. Quinn Geshel started the inning by reaching on an error, and then Bryce Heeringa and Manny Abro showed patience at the plate earning walks to load the bases. Cole Mason stepped to the plate and knocked a line drive single to center to earn an RBI and knot the game at threes. A timely single by Niam Kusreau, to plate Chase gave the Rams the 4-3 lead. Rockford wasn’t finished, however. Ramm hit a screamer to center to plate Manny and move the score to 5-3, and a walk by VanderTuig moved the score to 6-3 to close out the fourth.

A couple of Rockford walks gave the team some base runners in the fifth, and again, Rockford was aggressive on the base paths, scoring on a wild pitch and then a sacrifice by Pitsch to move the score to 8-3. Mount Pleasant did their best to claw their way back into the game, but Rockford reliever, Geshel, would have none of it. He stayed cool on the mound and shut them down to help his team win the state championship by an 8-5 score.

It was the determination, skill, and overall attitude of the Rockford All-Stars that earned them the first-ever 10U State Championship in Rockford Little League history. It also earned them a flawless run through the post-season, going a perfect 12-0 on their journey. Impressive, considering the group only started playing together after their regular season. The coaching leadership of manager Jeff Geshel, and his assistants Michael Meeuwsen and Mike Ramm certainly had a lot to do with the guidance of these young all-stars and their execution of the game to reach the level they attained.

VanderTuig started the game and showed great control and poise on the mound, stifling the Mount Pleasant bats for 4.2 innings, giving up only three runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out two. Geshel did extremely well in relief, going 2.1 innings and giving up two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out three to earn the win.

Rockford went 8-for-24 at the plate, with Johnson going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Pitsch, Ramm, VanderTuig, Mason Plain, Kusreau, and Cole Mason all registered a hit, with Pitsch, Kusreau, Ramm, VanderTuig and Cole Mason all recording an RBI to help the Rockford cause.

Congratulations goes to team members Breckton Meeuwsen, Chase Pitsch, Mason Plain, Drew Ramm, Daniel Toole, Carter VanderTuig, Manny Abro, Quinn Geshel, Bryce Heeringa, Eli Johnson, Niam Kusreau, and Cole Mason, who all contributed at different times to the team’s successful 12-0 run to claim the Michigan Little League State Championship. They gave their team, fans, parents and the entire town of Rockford something to be incredibly proud of.