The Herts All Stars are through to the Under-14 National Final after an 8-6 win in today’s Semi-Final against Cartmel Valley.
SEMI-FINAL, UNDER-14 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
HERTS ALL STARS (U14) 8 CARTMEL VALLEY (U14) 6 (BOX SCORES)
A dominant start for Zack Longboy on the mound provided the defensive stability the team needed if they were to continue the defence of the national championship. He pitched 5 innings allowing only 1 hit, with 11 out of 15 outs coming by way of a strikeout. At the same time Herts were able to build a healthy lead with two runs scored in the second inning after some aggressive running by Gavin Peterson and an RBI by Ben Jones.
They added three more after a 3-run home run by Richard Ganster. This is Ganster’s second home run in the postseason and it proved to be critical. In the top of the final inning the All Stars looked like they secured their place in the Semi-Final with three more runs after hits from Ganster, Longboy, Caress and Vangundy, to make the score 8-0, however Cartmel had other ideas. A spirited fight back by them made the score 8-6 with the tying run at second base. The pressure was on and the large travelling contingent of Herts fans was staring at possible elimination and end to their hopes of retaining the title.
It seemed that the coolest person in the world at that moment was Richard Ganster. He got the call from manager, Kent Peterson, to take the mound and he quickly executed the strikeout which Herts needed to book their place in the final.
A real scare for Herts, but Herts All Stars Manager, Kent Peterson, was full of praise for his players. “We had to battle hard at the end against a very difficult opponent and all of our players contributed and deserve a lot of credit.” he said.
In the other semi-final Chris Kiefer pitched a gem for the RedBacks against favourites LYBL not allowing any runs through four innings and giving his team a 3-0 lead with a home run which was launched so deep that it ended up on the Under-17 field and interrupted the Under-17 Semi-Final which was being played there at the same time. This however wasn’t enough for the RedBacks to pull off the shock of the postseason. With Kiefer out of the game having reached his 85-pitch limit, LYBL grabbed the opportunity and came back to win it 6-4.
Herts will now face LYBL in the Final tomorrow, Sunday, 18 September 2011. Game starts at 2pm at Connare Field in Richmond.