YORK – For the first time ever, the Junior Cornerstone Classic baseball tournament at Levitt Stadium was won by the hometown team.
York defeated Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg (SOS) 9-1 Sunday night in five innings to claim the championship. On Saturday, York beat Lincoln Hotel Group 10-2 in the semifinals after handing David City a 5-2 loss in the opening round on Friday.
“I’m so proud of the kids and the work they’ve been putting in for months,” York Cornerstone head coach Justin Rodrigues said, “and to see it pay off is very rewarding for me as a coach. To win the Classic for the first time is great for the whole program.”
With the three wins, the Juniors improve to a perfect 4-0 before hosting Fairbury at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Levitt Stadium.
York 9, SOS 1
The Juniors outhit SOS 9-6 in the game. SOS was plagued with three errors compared to none for York.
After York’s Bradyn Glebe scored on an SOS throwing error in the bottom of the first inning, Beau Woods gave his team a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Noah Jones in the third. Shortly after that, Creighton Hirschfeld ripped a two-run single that allowed Glebe and Reid Heidtbrink to score and give York a 4-0 advantage.
After an RBI double got SOS on the board and cut its deficit to 4-1 in the fourth, York’s Jonah Barrow came through for his team at the plate with an RBI single to center to pump the Juniors’ lead to 5-1.
An RBI single from both Thomas Ivey and Heidtbrink, as well as a two-run single from Tyler Wright, wound up sealing the run-rule victory for York in the fifth.
Barrow had another solid outing on the mound, striking out six while picking up the win for York against SOS.
York 10, Lincoln Hotel Group 2
Both teams recorded four hits in the game. Lincoln committed four errors to only two from the Juniors.
Heidtbrink unofficially had three RBIs in the win and hit a two-run single in the first.
Matthew Davis, Jones, Isaac Stark, Ivey, Wright and Emmitt Heiss all scored on either a Lincoln error or passed ball.
Glebe got the win on the mound for York and struck out four batters.
York 5, David City 2
The Juniors outhit David City 5-3 to start the tournament. David City recorded three errors to York’s one.
Offensively, Barrow hit a two-run single while Woods had a one-run single. Glebe scored on an error and hit into a fielder’s choice in the first, which allowed Wright to score.
Heidtbrink earned the win on the mound for the Juniors and had seven strikeouts.
The strong pitching performances from Heidtbrink, Glebe and Barrow caught the attention of their head coach.
“This weekend just proved that we don’t have a No. 1 pitcher – we have three of them,” Rodrigues said. “To have Reid, Bradyn and Jonah go the distance in all three games really shows you the depth of our rotation, and it also helps that they’re all super talented.
“The defense behind the pitching was amazing all weekend, too, led by our freshman shortstop Noah Jones – he definitely didn’t play like a freshman.”
Tuesday’s game with Fairbury kicks off a three-game homestand for the Juniors. Seward visits Levitt Stadium on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. while Tri County is in town Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest.
“I had about six kids that didn’t get a lot of playing time this weekend,” Rodrigues said, “but because they’re all great people and work so hard in practice and push our starters to be the best we can be, they were a huge part of why we were successful this weekend.”