By Rick Conrad For the Pharos-Tribune
---- — After an impressive 9-2 win Wednesday night in their opener of the Logansport 10-year-old state tournament, the local kids found themselves on the other end Friday with a tough 16-1 loss South Bend Eastside.
The local 10-year-old boys of summer were then eliminated Saturday from the Cal Ripken state tournament when they fell to Russiaville 14-8.
Logan’s talented starting pitcher, Michael Meadows, shut down all nine LaPorte batters he faced on Wednesday, all by strikeout. But neither he or his team had the same fortune against the squad from South Bend Friday.
“We started with Micheal again on the mound trying to once again set the tone for the game,” Logan skipper Matt Gaumer said. “Unfortunately, we did, just not the way we wanted to. The tone was set when our first three batters grounded out. We just couldn’t ever get anything going after that.”
What added to the Logansport woes was Eastside getting off to a big start in the top half of the first inning. The visiting team plated four runs on three hits before Logan went on the offensive.
Eastside then added four more runs to the scoreboard in the second inning before quietly sitting Logan down. At the end of two complete Eastside stood on top 8-0.
Things went way south in the third when the locals gave up another five runs making it 13-0 before they came to bat in the bottom half of the inning. Kolton Barber reached on a walk and would eventually come around to score. Unknown at the time, Barber would be the only Logan player to reach third base in the game. At the end of three it was Eastside up big 13-1.
The Eastside offense again did its job in the top of the fourth pushing the score to 16-1 before shutting Logansport down in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
“They were a really good team, but I’m disappointed we didn’t have a better showing against them,” Gaumer said. “It seemed that everything they hit found a gap and their kids were off and running. Then on the other hand, it seemed like everything we hit was right at them, not giving us very many base runners. It was that way the whole game.”
Against Russiaville, the visitors went up early on the Logan squad before the locals came back to within 8-5 to make things interesting. Unfortunately, the Logan kids didn’t get the breaks they needed and Russiaville went on for the win.
“A score of 14-8 sounds like a pretty solid defeat, but I really think we were just a couple hits away from this being a different game,” Gaumer said. “We loaded bases in the fourth and fifth innings and we were able to plate four runs and that was it. If we could have gotten those hits, who knows.”
Logansport outhit the Russiaville squad 13-12. Leading the way for Logan was Malachi Pearson, Meadows, Hunter Hewitt, Nick LeDonne and Ethan Denny with a pair of base hits. Kian Harris, Eli Starkey and Trevor Vietti also collected base hits.
Logan threatened with its first at-bat during the first inning by putting runners on second and third with just one out but ended up stranding both. Russiaville then pushed one across in its half of the first to take an early 1-0 lead.
After getting blanked in the second, Russiaville went to work by plating five more runs on seven hits in the bottom half of the inning to go up 6-0 after two.
Pearson led off the third with a hit and came around to score off an RBI by Denny. A pair of strikeouts and a groundout set the visitors down in order making it 6-1 after three.
Logan pushed across another in the fourth with Meadows getting a hit. With two outs Hewitt collected an RBI base hit scoring Meadows to make it 6-2. In its half of the fourth Russiaville plated two more runs on three hits to bump it back up to 8-2 after four complete.
The locals kids started to make a move in the fifth by plating three runs to make it 8-5. Unfortunately for Logan, Russiaville answered with six runs on six hits to stretch the lead out to 14-5.
The final inning wasn’t any better for the local kids. They again plated three in their comeback attempt but could get no closer in falling by the score of 14-8 and ending their season.
“This was a great group of kids to have been able to work with. They had some success in the district tourney but came up a little short here at state. But at no time did these guys ever give up. They battled the whole time,” added Gaumer.