Jasper all-stars roll to nationals

Photo courtesy Jack Greener
Members of the Jasper Babe Ruth 14-year-old all-star team celebrated after routing Janesville (Wis.) 11-0 in Sunday’s Ohio Valley Regional at the Jasper Youth Sports Complex. Jasper advanced to play in the Babe Ruth World Series starting Aug. 17 in Moses Lake, Wash.

From Herald Staff Reports

Claiming a championship is supposed to get more difficult the deeper the tournament trail progresses. Not so for the Jasper Babe Ruth 14-year-old all-star squad.

Jasper romped to the Ohio Valley Regional title over the weekend on its home turf at the Jasper Youth Sports Complex, netting three run-rule victories to sail into the Babe Ruth World Series. The national tourney is slated for Aug. 17 through 24 in Moses Lake, Wash.

Jasper blitzed its final two foes in five-inning run-rule games Sunday, crushing Elkins (W.Va.) 10-0 in the semifinals and Janesville (Wis.) 11-0 in the championship. Jasper pitching surrendered just five hits over the two games, as Reece Kleinhelter nabbed the win in the championship and Tanner Egbert pitched the semifinals, with each hurler going the distance. Kleinhelter and Schmitt combined to shut down South Lexington (Ky.) 12-2 in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Jasper began its tournament trail Thursday by downing Connersville 5-2 and then stopped South Lexington 8-4 on Friday. Jasper was the No. 3 seed after opening-round pool play Friday and barreled through its final three weekend games after the top seeds stumbled; 10th-seeded Elkins knocked off second-seeded Somerset-Pulaski (Ky.) in the quarterfinals, and Janesville clipped No. 1 seed Schererville (Ind.) 1-0 in a 12-inning semifinal.

Hefty hitting accompanied reliable pitching for Jasper, as Evan Aders cranked a three-run home run and a double in the championship while Kleinhelter doubled and tripled and Egbert chipped in two hits.

Against Elkins, Jared Sermersheim, Adam Hedinger and Cam Heeke all provided two RBIs and Schmitt pounded two doubles. Three doubles by Aders powered Jasper in Saturday’s rematch against South Lexington, while Sermersheim and Connor O’Brien both singled and doubled and Hedinger supplied two hits as well.

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