The Oak Park Eagles 12U baseball team is headed to Monterey, Calif., to compete in the PONY World Series this weekend.
The slugging Eagles belted their way to Little League’s most prestigious tournament by racking up a slew of victories in the playoffs. The team crushed Channahon 19-3 in the opening round of the regional, held in Oak Park. The Oak Parkers downed that very same team 9-1 on Saturday for the North Zone Tournament Championship in Joliet.
The Eagles, who scored 58 runs over five games in the playoffs, also defeated St. Joseph, Jefferson County (Ill.), Crest Hill and Lafayette (Ind.). Down a run in the seventh inning against Lafayette with the bases loaded and two outs, Jackson Lewis hit a walk-off grand slam for the 13-10 victory.
“At the beginning of the year I don’t think going to California was on anyone’s radar,” said head coach Dave Hennings. “But these guys have been playing together for awhile and they’ve worked really hard. They deserve this.”
The Eagles, the first 12U team from Oak Park in four years to advance to the World Series, were scheduled to leave for California today (Aug. 4). On Thursday, the team will begin the first of four games.
The team is comprised of Cameron Moore, Alex Daun, Andrew Hennings, Fanon Thomas, Lewis, Conor Sullivan, Max Gonzalez, Hank Christie, Ben Avis, Connor Lamb, Joe Cundari, Evan Bell and Kyle Jackson. Along with Hennings, the Eagles are coached by Gordon Bell, Carl Daun and Ed Avis.