The boys in blue from the Ball Yard outlasted Freeberg Chiropractic to claim this year's Junior Bronco Village Championship in a tense three game series.
The North side champion Ball Yard team took the first game, only to see the South side champion Chiro's storm back in Game 2. The rubber game went to the Ball Yard by the score of 7-3 and an exciting come from behind victory.
The Ball Yard team was coached by Bruce Callahan, Mike Baig and Tom Johnson. The players are: Griffin Baig, Zack Brusso, John Callahan, Patrick Callahan, Nick DeAlba, John Hart, Mason Hinckly, Jake Johnson, Jack Muller, Stevie Samuels, Mack Scibek, Matt Stewart (not pictured), and Nick Vincy.
The Freeberg Chiropractic team was coached by Steve Pine, Ed Avis, Bob Bartlett and Dave Burkett. The players are: Nathan Avis, Robert Barlow, Mason Bartlett, Jorgan Bruce, Danny Burkett, Ryan Ebersole, Charlie Fencik, Ben Miller, Matt Moore, Erik Oxnevad, Henry Pine, and Nathan Sacks.
The series was full of great defensive play, clutch hitting and pitching, and a high level of sportsmanship. It was an event that highlighted the excellence of Oak Park baseball.
Windmills 10U win big
The Oak Park Windmills 10-Under team capped a very successful tournament season by winning the ASA (American Softball Association) Chicago Metro 10-Under Fast Pitch tournament the weekend of July 8-10 in Joliet.
The Windmills started strong on Friday in pool play, and never slowed down during the hot and dry weekend. Overall, Coach Tommy Thompson's girls went unbeaten with a 7-0 record. The 16-team tournament, the most prestigious and demanding of the season, drew the top 10-U teams in Northern Illinois. The win also secured for the team a bid to the ASA 10-U National Finals in Johnson City, Tenn., in August.
Blue Eagles fly in tournaments
Oak Park's U9 Blue Eagles baseball team won the Oak Lawn tournament, topping favored and previously unbeaten Elk Grove Village in the finals 6-3.
Charlie Rhomberg saved the game for the Blue Eagles' pitching aces (Ryan Fish, Elliot Greffin and Tim Huettel), who were supported by gritty defense and timely hitting deep in the order (led by game MVP Connor Lamb). This championship followed fast on the heels of the Blue Eagles' comeback third-place finish in the 16-team Homer Heat tournament just six days prior.
OP U9 Boys Blue Eagles
Homer Heat Tournament - Placed 3rd out of 16 Teams
OP Blue Eagles 3, Homer Gold 2
(MVP: Ryan Fish, home run, 2 RBI; 2 shutout innings, 6 strikeouts)
OP Blue Eagles 3, Frankfort 1
(MVP: Ben Avis, 2-for-2, double, triple; excellent defense at catcher)
St. Joe's Red 5, OP Blue Eagles 1
(MVP: Tim Huettel, 2 innings pitched, 3 strikeouts)
St. Joe's Blue 10, OP Blue Eagles 0
(MVP: Ryan Fish, 2 innings pitched, 4 strikeouts)
OP Blue Eagles 10, Minooka 1 (3rd Place Game)
(MVP: Elliot Greffin, home run, 3 RBI; 2 innings pitched, 3 strikeouts)
Oak Lawn Tournament - Tournament Champion
OP Blue Eagles 3, North Aurora 2
(MVP: Ryan Fish, 2 singles, RBI; 2 innings pitched, 4 strikeouts)
OP Blue Eagles 12, Oak Lawn 8
(MVP: Tim Huettel, RBI; 2 innings pitched, 3 strikeouts)
OP Blue Eagles 2, Orland Park 0
(MVP: Andrew Fascione, drives in game's only runs with 2-out, 2-run single in the 5th)
OP Blue Eagles 6, Frankfort Square 4
(MVP: Charlie Rhomberg, 2-for-3, two critical plays at second)
OP Blue Eagles 5, Elmhurst 3
(MVP: Graham Failor, towering triple to break open the game)
OP Blue Eagles 6, Elk Grove Village 3 (Championship)
(MVP: Connor Lamb, decisive two-run double in top of the 6th inning)