Kash Kerner and Grady Phillips

Over the Columbus Day weekend, multiple Coal City & GSWB baseball players had the opportunity to compete in Jacksonville, IL for the All-State Showcase.  Representing the 7th grade North team from Coal City were: Kiptyn Dearth, Rylan DeMichele, Maddox Meents, Jonah Micetich, and Connor Rodriguez.  GSWB also had Kash Kerner and Grady Phillips, as the remainder of the roster were 3 players from Mossville.  In the showcase, there were 8 teams separated by regions in Illinois, with each team getting to play 4 pool play games.

Game 1: South 6 vs North 9
In game 1, Kiptyn Dearth got the start and went 4.1 innings while only allowing 1 hit.  While the North was trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the 3rd, Jonah Micetich reached via walk and would eventually score on a sacrifice fly from Rylan Demichele. to cut the South lead to 2-1.  In the bottom of the 4th, Kash Kerner would have an RBI single to knot the score at 202 entering the 5th.  Grady Phillips relieved Deart on the mound as Phillips would work for 1.2 innings allowing 2 runs.  With the North trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 5th, the North used 3 consecutive walks to start a rally.  Dearth was hit by a pitch to score a run followed by a 2 RBI double from Connor Rodriguez.  Kash Kerner also had a 2 RBI single to help extend the lead to 9-4.  Heading into the final inning, the North brought in Maddox Meents for the save to secure a 9-6 victory as Phillips earned the win.
Game 2: South Central 5 vs North 2
Maddox Meents took the ball in game 2 and would go 2 innings for the North as he allowed 2 runs while striking out 3.  Trailing 3-0 in the 4th, DeMichele reached safely followed by walks to Dearth and Rodriguez.  which helped cut the deficit to 3-2.  However, the South Central squad tacked on insurance runs in the 5th and 6th to lead 5-2 and coast to a victory.  Connor Rodriguez threw 5 relief innings allowing 2 hits and striking out 5.
Game 3: West Central 4 vs North 5
Early Sunday morning, the North found themselves in the middle of a pitcher’s duel, as the score was 0-0 entering the 6th inning.  However after a couple of errors by the North and timely hitting from West Central, the North found themselves down 4-0 entering the 7th.  Rodriguez led off the inning with a double followed by a Dearth singled.  After Tage Morrow and Isaiah Perez, both from Mossville reached on singles, Kash Kerner had a big 2 RBI single to cut the score to 4-3.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and 1 out, Grady Phillips reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to tie the game at 4-4.  With the infield in and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Maddox Meents collected a walk-off single to guide the North to a 5-4 come-from-behind win.  Jonah Micetich earned the win in relief as he went 1.1 innings allowing no hits on one walk.
Game 4: North Central 6 vs North 6
After a lead-off walk for North Central, they manufactured a run to go up 1-0 early in the 1st.  But in the 2nd, Dearth singled and Perez walked.  Kash Kerner would then hit into a fielder’s choice to put up the North 2-1.  In the 4th, each team traded runs to make the score 3-2.  The North used a single from Connor Rodriguez who would eventually score on a hit from Perez with 2 outs.  Kash Kerner pitched in relief for the North for 2 innings allowing one earned run.  North Central would use multiple hits in the 6th to tie the game at 3-3 in the 6th.  In the top of the 7th with the bases loaded, North Central had a base hit then capitalized on error to take a 6-3 lead.  Maddox Meents relieved Kerner going 1 inning and striking out one on one hit allowed.  With only 3 outs remaining and facing a 3 run deficit, the North went to work again in the final inning.  After 3 walks to begin the inning, Morrow would score on a passed ball to make the lead 6-4.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Grady Phillips would hit into a fielder’s choice to make the score 6-5.  Rylan Demichele would hit a sacrifice fly with one out to plate Kash Kerner and make the game 6-6.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs, the North could not get a go-ahead hit as the game ended in a 6-6 tie.
Unfortunately, the North team tied for 1st in their pool going 2-1-1 but did not make it to the championship game based on the tiebreaker.  It was a great experience for these boys and they will remember it for a long time.  This group of boys never stopped fighting, as they trailed early in every game and would come back in the final 2 innings in 3 of the 4 games.  in the tournament they scored 22 runs, 15 of them were in the final 2 innings of each game.  Over the course of pool play, each local player compiled the following numbers:
Kiptyn Dearth (CC); 2-8, 3 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI, HBP.
Rylan DeMichele (CC): 2-9, 2 BB, 2R, 2 RBI
Kash Kerner (GSWB): 4-11, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 R, BB
Maddox Meents (CC): 2-11, 3 BB, HBP, 2 R. 1 save pitching
Jonah Micetich (CC): 1-11, 3 BB, 2 R.  1-0 pitching
Grady Phillips (GSWB): 1-11, 2 RBI, BB.  1-0 pitching
Connor Rodriguez (CC): 4-11, 3 2B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
* Connor Rodriguez was also selected to the All-Tournament team.
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