Little League: Grass Valley All Stars win Section 4 Championship
With strong pitching and clutch hitting, the Grass Valley All Stars barreled through the competition at Valley Oak Park in Sacramento and claimed Little League’s Section 4 Intermediate Division Championship.
“It’s a great group of kids,” said Grass Valley All Stars manager Derek Hiatt. “This is probably one of the better teams I’ve ever had. No bad attitudes. They cheer each other on. They’re gelling really well together.”
Grass Valley, representing Little League’s District 11, opened the tourney July 1 with a 6-1 victory over West Sacramento, the District 6 representative. They then topped the District 5 representative, 11-2, on Saturday to advance to the championship round, where they again faced West Sacramento.
In the championship game on Tuesday, Grass Valley fell behind early but quickly rebounded and cruised to a 14-4 victory, capped by a grand slam off the bat of Craig Statler.
“Pitching is a big key, and this year I got four legit starters and a bunch of kids who can come in, throw innings and strike kids out,” said Hiatt. “We’ve also had a lot of timely, clutch hitting. The kids have come up and performed when it counts. Defensively, we’re pretty solid, we don’t make a lot of errors. And, base running, the kids are smart.”
The Grass Valley All Stars are comprised of players Brock Bodley, Charlie La Jeunesse, Devin Taylor, Dylan Blackmon, Hank Peterson, Jayce Gross, Kade Hiatt, Lucas Frisella, Tiegan McCall, Trace Shelton, Valentino Changras, Davin Wasley and Craig Statler. The team is led by manager Derek Hiatt, and coaches John Singleton and Yuba Taylor.
Next up for the Grass Valley All Stars is the Northern California Intermediate Division Tournament in Selma. Grass Valley’s first game is set for Saturday evening.
“It’ll be a bit tougher,” said Hiatt. “Lots of games back to back. Pitching will be the big key for us.”
Little League’s Intermediate Division is comprised of players ages 13 and younger, and utilizes a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot base paths.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com
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