SHELBYVILLE, IL. — A 10-run 1st set the tone for the 5-inning victory that Okaw Valley used to claim the Okaw Valley 1A Regional Championship on Monday over St. Anthony, 15-4.
St. Anthony got on the board first, but that didn't matter. A Cody Drake grand slam in the Okaw 1st and a Hutson Dickens single gave Okaw all they would need for the win.
Okaw ace Garrett Fritz only gave up four hits and three walks in five innings, while striking out seven. The Okaw hit crew rolled up the score quick and in hurry and Fritz held the Bullpups in check.
Mendella led off the game with a St. A hit and, with one out, Utz doubled to make it 1-0. Fritz KO'd his second victim to end the 1st.
Okaw came up to bat and anted-up. Austin Harshman led off with a walk, Sam Hagerman walked and Fritz singled. Drake then hit a 3-1 pitch for a base-clearing grand slam, 4-1.
With two outs, Jared Bunfill singled and Dickens singled and Bunfill scored, 5-1. Austin Hill singled and Harshman reached on an error. Dickens scored, 6-1.
Hagerman reached on an error and Hill and Harshman scored, 8-1. With 11 batters already to the plate in the 1st, eight runs scored, and the second rally starting with two outs, Okaw hit its second home run of the inning. Fritz hit the first pitch for a 2-run shot, 10-0
Fritz rang up the first two batters in the 2nd and the third lined out to Hagerman at 1st.
In the 2nd, Bunfill reached on an error and Hill singled with one out. Harshman walked to load the bases, again. Hagerman reached on an error, scoring Bunfill, 11-0.
Fritz grounded out, but drove Hill across, 12-0. Tanner Coleman singled, scoring Harshman, 13-0.
Fritz had control trouble in the 3rd. He walked three straight batters. Fritz threw out the runner heading home on a ground ball back to the mound. Guy then singled a run in, 13-2.