Baseball: Evergreen Park defeats Spring Valley 10-8 in Little League Intermediate State Tournament game
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media July 14, 2014 9:34PM
Updated: July 14, 2014 10:46PM
After scoring six times in the first inning, Evergreen Park Little League saw its lead slip away and became with a deficit Monday night.
Darius Brown knew his team had to respond.
“We didn’t want to lose,” he said. “We knew we had to start hitting again.”
Evergreen Park did, and Brown became the hero on the mound. He held Spring Valley Little League to one run over the final four innings as Evergreen Park escaped with a 10-8 victory in an elimination game at the Little League Intermediate Division State Tournament at Alsip Little League’s Garetto Field.
Evergreen Park, which lost its tournament opener 5-3 to Naperville National on Sunday, stayed alive to face Warren Park in another elimination contest at 5:30 Tuesday.
Down 7-6 after Spring Valley’s five-run third inning, Evergreen drew even in the fourth when Jessi Plunkett (2-for-4) singled, stole second and scored on a single by Evan Kirts (2-for-4).
Evergreen Park took the lead for good with a three-run fifth, opening it with singles by Tabari Brown (3-for-4), Eli Bartos and Alex Hayes (2-for-4), Hayes driving in the go-ahead run with a shot over the head of the center fielder.
Marty Bennett’s grounder scored Bartos and Hayes came home on an error.
Darius Brown, meanwhile, went to work on shutting down Spring Valley. After stranding two runners in the fourth, he pitched perfect fifth and sixth innings, striking out five. After allowing a seventh-inning run, he struck out the final two hitters of the game.
“He gets the game ball,” Evergreen Park manager Jerry Hayes said. “He’s a 13-year-old in a 13-14 league during the regular season and he’s pitched very little. He came in out of the blue when we needed him and put us in a decent position for (Tuesday) with two of our top pitchers still available.”
Plunkett led off the game with a triple and scored on Kirts’ single to start the six-run first. Tabari Brown and Bennett added RBI singles and Darius Brown a sacrifice fly in the inning.
Darius Brown’s best was still to come, however.
“I didn’t want to go home,” Darius Brown said. “I just wanted to get my team through this game. We’ve come too far to lose now.”