By RICK CONRAD For the Pharos-Tribune
---- — The Logansport Cal Ripken 12-year-old all-star team has advanced to the Northern State Tournament in Crown Point.
Unfortunately for the locals, they’ll be making the trip as district runner-ups after dropping a pair of games to Kokomo Eastside by the scores of 4-3 and 6-3 on Sunday at Crain Field. The Kokomo squad will advance as the top seed from the Logansport district and Logansport will be the No. 2 seed.
After Logan barnstormed its way into the championship game with wins over Tipton (12-0) and Taylor (13-4), the local squad failed to get the bats going in the championship round while the Kokomo squad’s bats were hot.
In the 4-3 loss in the opener, Logansport mustered just four hits in the contest to Kokomo’s 11. The highlight for the home team was a home run over the right-field fence by third baseman Bryce Rhea to bring Logansport to within a run. With the offense a bit lethargic, Logan was unable to draw closer and Kokomo held on to force the second and deciding game for the district title. For Logan, Wil Bennett had a double and Conner Corcoran and Jake Kelley also had base hits and Rhea had the homer.
In the second contest, Logan outhit Kokomo 8-7 at the plate but the diffence was the Kokomo played long ball in the game in going on to the 6-3 win. Cassius Smalley went yard and Jabrian Adams went long twice in the game for the team from Kokomo.
For Logansport, Jake Cox collected a base hit along with Gavin Morgan. Jake Kelley had two base hits. Morgan also blasted a double along with Tucker Platt, Jonathan Easter and Corcoran in the loss.
“We play Wednesday night at Crown Point and we’ve given the kids [today] off but we’ll have practice on Tuesday. We’ll bring them in and try to get them refocused,” said Logansport manager Jim Russell. “We’re hitting the ball hard but we’re hitting it right at people. They just played tremendous defense, better than I’ve seen them play. The had good gloves in the infield and made some diving cathes in the outfield.
“I’ve got a good team and we’ll be ready to play up there,” Russell added.