Brendan Weinaug and the Gowanda 12U All-Stars fell to Leroy, 7-4, in the District Tournament. Photo by David Eckhardt.
The Gowanda All-Stars’ quest to a Little League World Series came to an end on Sturday afternoon (July 12) when they fell to Leroy, 7-4, at Seneca Falls Little League Concourse.
Backed up by Ryan Johnson’s four-RBI performance, a three-run homer from Leroy in the fourth proved to be the end for Gowanda’s hopes.
After Gowanda tied the game in the third, Leroy came right back in the fourth to retake the lead. After a hit by pitch and a single put two men on, Leroy crushed a three-run homer to take the 7-4 lead that would stay until the very end.
Although the score wasn’t in Gowanda’s favor, they put on a fight till the very end. Ryan Johnson proved to be the player of the game
After a four-run first for Leroy, Johnson put up two runs of his own in the bottom half of the inning for his squad. With Gowanda having two men on, a two-run double from the catcher cut Leroy’s lead in half.
Johnson made some damage in the third to even the score for Gowanda. Johnson doubled again to plate two more to tie the game up at four.
Johnson also had a stellar play in the field. Leroy was pouring it on in the first until Johnson ended the threat when he helped his team turn a 6-2-5 double play.
Johnson showed his catcher awareness when he caught the baserunner trying to advance to third, but wasn’t hustling. Johnson gunned a throw to third to complete the double play and get his team out of the inning.
“Johnson was definitely the star of the game,” coach Brian Weinaug said. “This is a high level of baseball and for him to have all four RBIs is pretty amazing. He was definitely the person that stood out.”
Gowanda made it interesting in the final inning. Being down 7-4 still, Gowanda’s bottom of the order hit its way to get two men on base, which put some pressure on Leroy’s pitcher and fielders.
The All-Stars, however, couldn’t cash in as Leroy fanned Gowanda’s 1-2-3 hitters to end the ball game and Weinaug’s club’s hopes to enter the Little League World Series tournament.
On the mound, Tanner Olson went deep into the game to keep his team in it. In his 85-pitch outing, Olson’s off-speed pitches really benefited him. Using his fastball and curveball, Olson kept Leroy batters off balanced and flustered. Olson quieted Leroy’s 6-foot power hitter Reese Tresko. Tresko did major home run damage to teams in Batavia little leagues this season, but Olson kept Tresko off balance in each of his at-bats to quiet him down the entire game.
“He was definitely able to work the batters,” Weinaug said. “The key to his success on Saturday came from his off-speed stuff.
“I felt like we were a pretty evenly matched team with Leroy coming in. They’re probably the toughest team we have faced, but I thought the kids did an excellent job putting up a fight against them. ”