STREATOR — The game of baseball played at the Little League level is truly a ‘you just never know’ type of experience.
That was certainly the case in Wednesday night’s Streator Youth Baseball Minor League (10U) city championship game at Southside Diamond.
Luckey Distribution shook off an early three-run deficit to Gavin Lawncare with a five-run fourth and then plated three in the top of the sixth to eventually earn a 9-6 victory at Southside Diamonds.
“This is a competitive game when the game starts, without a doubt. The kids want to win, which is a good thing,” Luckey Distribution coach Beau Doty said. “But this is really a time to let the kids have fun, showcase their talents and improve.
“I’m not sure there wasn’t a kid on this team that didn’t get better this season, and I think I can say that for the other three teams [in the league]. We were fortunate to get hot at the right time and play some of our best baseball the last two games. I couldn’t be prouder of every kid on this team.”
Gavin took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, starting with Bradley Matsko being hit by a pitch and scoring on an RBI single to left by Brody Daugherity. Daugherity eventually came around to score on an error, while Michael Cunningham drove home Marshall Volkman, who had doubled.
Luckey plated five runs in the fourth with Patrick Luckey drawing a bases-loaded walk, Grayson Wissen smacking a two-run single and Aaron Peck providing an RBI groundout and error. They added a single run in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk issued to Liam Doty.
Gavin tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on an error and two-run base hit to right by Volkman.
Luckey grabbed the lead for good in the sixth on an error, an infield RBI single by Isaiah Dalton and a wild pitch.
All six pitchers – Ben Mascote (3 IP, 7 K), Brody Daugherity (2 IP, 4 K) and Cunningham (1 IP, 3 K) of Gavin; and Joey Studnicki (1 2/3 IP, 4 K), Noah Kolojay (2 1/3 IP, 4 K) and Liam Doty (2 IP, 3 K) for Luckey – were outstanding.
“If you play baseball, you are going to experience heartbreak ... there is no way around that,” Gavin Lawncare head coach Nick Daugherity said. “This was a really great game and the kind of game – back and forth – as a player you want to play in.
“Both teams kept fighting until the end, and that’s all you can ask for. Like I told the boys, it’s going to hurt, but tomorrow everything will be all right.
“Very proud of my group, not only for their play tonight, but all season. It’s been fun to coach all of them.”