The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

July 12, 2013

The Butler did it

GV tops Jefferson for junior crown

For the first three innings Thursday afternoon at Grand Valley Community Park, it appeared a quick start for Jefferson enough to claim the District 1 junior division championship.

Grand Valley, however, pecked away at the deficit until Tyler Butler rapped a single to left to plate a pair for the lead. GV hung on for the 6-3 victory and a trip to the state tourney.

It will play the District 8 champion July 20 at 3 p.m. in Maumee.

The slow start was nothing new to GV.

"It just takes us a while to get into any kind of rhythm," GV coach Sean Cunningham said. "The kids just keep on playing. We know Jefferson has a very good team with talent. Things seemed to snowball on them after a while. Tyler did a great job. He's a good kid who just played strong, like the other kids as well."

Through the first three innings

 Grand Valley had only one hitter reach base. Josh Cunningham beat out a grounder deep into the hole at shortstop, stole both second and third and scored the first Grand Valley run on an infield out.

Jefferson’s Tony Gattarello doubled to the fence in left-center to lead off the game. Mason Gillespie followed immediately with a ground ball through the hole between first and second to score Gattarello.

Gillespie stole second and took third on a wild pitch, and with two out, Mason Swiney drew a walk. A pickoff attempt with Gillespie on third and Swiney on first allowed both to move up.

"About the bottom of the fifth, we had a couple overthrows on defense that hurt,” Jefferson manager Mark Gillespie said. That pretty much started our misfortunes, and it got worse the next inning. Our kids did a great job of hitting the ball today. Grand Valley made some good plays. We did, too.

“For kids at this age, once things start to break down, it's easy for them to hang their heads. I told them the game isn't over until the umpire calls the last out, and we gave it our best shot to the very end."

Manufacturing runs was the key. Jefferson hit the ball better in the early going, but Grand Valley stayed aggressive. They took advantage of four walks, five Jefferson errors, including four in the bottom of the sixth as GV pulled further away, and 11 stolen bases got a sputtering GV offense moving enough to score.

"We believe in aggressive baserunning," Sean Cunningham said. "I didn't know we stole that many, but we knew we had to get a few to jumpstart our offense. It worked well."

Josh Cunningham keyed it all with three singles and five steals. Butler's big hit drove home two, Cunningham also tallied three times, and six of the ten GV players stole a base.

Pinch hitter Austin Mathis ignited the rally that set up Butler's game winning single.

He drew a one-out walk and promptly stole second and third, as well. After Blake Hershberger walked and was the back end of a double steal, Butler drilled his hit to left for the lead.

GV tallied another pair of runs in the sixth on Cunningham's third safety and four errors, and the air came out of the Jefferson sails almost completely.

Jefferson leadoff man Austin Norris, walked to lead off the sixth, but was forced at second on a sharp ground ball from the bat of Daniel Sartor. Sartor moved up on a balk, but after Tony Gattarello flied out to center

 Sartor was picked off of second base by relief pitcher Logan Sines, and GV had earned a trip to Maumee.

Kelly is a freelance writer from Jefferson.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video