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Coaches Matt and Mark Keller should be extremely proud of the boys on their Team Illini 10U squad out of Bethalto. Team Illini took on Central Illinois Swing’s red team on Monday, June 29, at the Bethalto Sports Complex.
This game comes after a huge 8-0 win for the squad, totally obliterating their competition at the USSSA Illinois Open State Championship on June 18. This game back home at Bethalto is one of two games before their next tournament, beginning on July 10.
Before the game even began, the Keller brothers began running their team through hitting, pitching, and fielding drills. This showed some major league determination because all of this occurred before the opposing squad had even made it to their dugouts.
The game began early of the 7 p.m. start time as the cloudy sky kept the summer sun at bay. The cool breeze that some of Bethalto’s more rural environments provided allowed for an even more enjoyable night on the field for both teams.
It was safe to say that Nic Strohbeck and Jason Darr’s team from Shipman may have been slightly concerned about playing against an undefeated squad, as they came in at 0-9-0 in their division. However, the concern subsided as the team hit the field to play some pure, American baseball.
Swing’s supporters crowded the visitor stands, travelling the extra few miles to support their beloved children. At times, the stands were packed with spectators for Central Illinois Swing, and caused some fans to be forced to stand.
Pitching seemed to act as Swing’s Achilles’ heel that night, allowing 5 hits in the 5 innings played against Illini. Peyton Keller, Carter Brooks, and Nick Brousseau produced the one hit and 2 RBIs of the game.
An underestimated strength of the squad was their eye for identifying pitches as they come to the plate. Nick Williams and Bryan Jublet produced walks for their team. Once those runners and walkers received their places on base, they were bound and determined to advance their positions. The successful steals that were performed on dropped pitches by the Swing’s catchers or outfield allowed for most of Illini’s point earnings for this game.
Illini’s starting pitcher was Carter Brooks, who pitched for 2 innings. Following Brooks for two innings was Bryan Jublet, and closing for the Illini was Nick Williams. With all of their hard work, the pitchers of Illini produced a no-hitter against the Central Illinois Swing.
The game was called short at the end of the 5th inning. Team Illini 10U remained undefeated against the Central Illinois Swing. Though one team left the diamond with another lose to add to their scorebooks, it’s safe to say that all of the boys involved in this league have had quite an amazing and fun season.
Team Illini 10U
#11 H. Keller
#3 P. Keller
Central Illinois Swing – Red 10U
#15 C. Darr
#5 R. Darr
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