End arrives for Janesville at World Series
The Ohio Valley Regional champions were trying to digest a 14-2 pounding by Beaverton, Ore., in the quarterfinals of the Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old World Series here Thursday afternoon.
But the boys seemed to be taking the loss pretty well under the circumstances and were trying to look on the bright side.
“If you had told us we’d be one of the top six teams in the country when this season started, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Kevin Brandt, the Janesville cleanup hitter, who scored one of his team’s runs against Beaverton.
“Defense and pitching, that’s what we had throughout Ohio Valley, state, districts, and then here.”
Those two aspects let Janesville down Thursday, as it committed four errors for the second straight game, and three pitchers were raked for 17 hits. It was Janesville’s third consecutive defeat in the World Series after 27 straight wins.
“It was really fun,” said center fielder Brennan Olin, who cracked a first-inning homer against Beaverton. “We know we made it far. It was a great experience.”
Thursday’s game was close for four innings, before Beaverton scored nine runs in the final three innings to turn it into a rout.
“These kids got down early, on themselves a little bit,” said Janesville coach Ron Kobs. “We tried to keep them fired up.
“It’s tough, you know. Possible last game of the World Series for you. But you know what? These kids played their hearts out.
“I give them all the credit in the world. We did what we could do. Granted, we would have liked to finish a little higher. But right now, we’re basically, we figure, one of the top six teams in the nation. So you’ve got to be happy with that.”
Janesville got off to a rough start when Parker Stidham drilled a three-run homer to center in the first inning. Kobs asked home-plate umpire Mike Goleski to check Stidham’s bat to see if it was legal. His protest was denied.
“It’s not on the Babe Ruth (approved) list,” said Kobs. “It is an illegal bat. Evidently, the rules committee decided against it, and we’ll take whatever they decided.
“I don’t agree with it. If we would have lost by three runs, I’d be a little upset.”
After the game, the bat was taken from Beaverton and can’t be used anymore in the tournament, according to Henry Sermons, tournament director for the World Series and a board member of Babe Ruth League, Inc.
“He’s correct,” Sermons said Kobs. “We found out that the bat has not been tested. It is not illegal. It just hasn’t been tested by the (Babe Ruth) certification lab. It is not on the approved list at this time.
“Had we known at the beginning what we know now, the bat would have been ruled illegal right then.”
That would have erased the three-run homer by Stidham and ended the inning.
In the bottom of the first, Olin smacked his home run over the left-field wall, shocking himself and his teammates.
“First home run out of the park in my life,” he said. “It was amazing. I was around second base, and I was looking at the umpire, and he was giving the home-run signal.
“I just thought it was over the kid’s head. I didn’t know it went over the wall, too.”
The homer made it 3-1 and a bases-loaded walk pulled Janesville within a run. But Janesville didn’t score again and couldn’t contain Beaverton’s bats in the latter innings.
“The kids are taking it better than I thought they would,” said Kobs. “I don’t want to take anything away from (Beaverton), but there weren’t many hard-hit balls. Just a lot of bloopers … between the infield and outfield. Tough to defend.”
Janesville finished 2-3 in the tournament and was second to host Glen Allen in the National Division of pool play.
BEAVERTON 14, JANESVILLE 2
Beaverton (ab-r-h-rbi)—Lewellen, p, 4-1-3-1; Lavey, ss, 3-1-1-1; Hill, rf, 2-2-0-0; Orcutt, lf, 5-3-5-2; Stidham, 3b, 5-2-3-4; White, pr, 0-1-0-0; Chitwood, 1b, 3-1-1-0; Armstrong, c, 5-1-1-0; Pullen, 2b, 5-0-1-0; Galligan, cf, 2-1-2-0; Niehuser, ph-cf, 2-1-0-0. Totals: 36-14-17-8.
Janesville (ab-r-h-rbi)—Platts, lf, 4-0-1-0; Olin, cf, 3-1-1-1; Welch, 2b, 1-0-1-0; Blomgren, ss, 3-0-0-0; Brandt, rf-p, 2-1-1-0; Gruenwald, cf, 1-0-0-0; Bowen, 1b, 3-0-1-0; Cox, 2b-rf, 2-0-0-0; Faust, 3b, 1-0-0-1; Marro, c, 3-0-0-0; Smithback, c, 0-0-0-0; Hoffarth, p, 2-0-1-0; Coulter, rf-p, 1-0-0-0. Totals: 26-2-6-2.
Beaverton, Ore. 300 224 3—14
Janesville 200 000 0—2
E—Beaverton 0, Janesville 4. LOB—Beaverton 9, Janesville 10. 2B—Orcutt, Pullen, Platts, Brandt. HR—Olin, Stidham.
IP H R ER BB SO
Lewellen (W) 7 6 2 2 5 2
Hoffarth (L) 4 11 7 7 5 2
Brandt 2 4 4 0 1 0
Coulter 1 2 3 2 1 2