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Sports

July 11, 2014

Mahaska County American All-Stars to play in state tourney

OSKALOOSA —

The Mahaska County American Little League 9-10 boys All-Star team played Grinnell on Wednesday night for the right to advance to the State tournament.
Both teams entered the game with a record of 5-1 in pool play. The winner would advance to State.  
Baserunners were at a premium early on, as the game set out to be a pitcher's duel between American's Dillon O'Brien and Grinnell's Braden Blackford.  
Blackford overcame a one-out walk in the first inning before Grinnell scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead.
That would remain the score until the top of the fourth, when American scored a run of its own.  
Landon Hunolt led off with a single, but the next two batters would get out. Eric Mulder then came up and hit a 3-0 pitch down the right field line to score Hunolt from first and the game was tied.  
Grinnell would answer right back, though, in the bottom of the fourth. Jaylen Eitel led off the inning with a single and would get to second on a wild pitch. 
After striking out the next batter, O'Brien gave up a single on an 0-2 pitch to relinquish the lead. Aidan Pollock came in to relieve O'Brien and eventually left the runner on third by striking out the two batters he faced in the inning.  
Blackford entered the fifth inning with only 5 pitches left (Little League pitch count) before he would need to be removed from the game. Pinch-hitter Trey Miller worked the count full before walking, which led to a pitching change. And the tide was set for the rest of the game. With Logan Hoskinson re-entering the game to run for Miller, Tucker DeJong reached on a throwing error to give American two men on with no one out. Pinch-hitter Alex Garman was hit by a pitch loading the bases. A strikeout for the first out led to the biggest play of the game.

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