Hermitage tops Grove City, 4-1, to win 8-10 District 2 Little League title

·2 min read

Jul. 9—HERMITAGE — Baseball is a game of situations. Teamwork and execution in key moments can be the difference between a win and a loss.

It was a misunderstood sign, however, that powered the Hermitage 8-10 year-old baseball team to a District 2 Little League baseball title. Hermitage beat Grove City 4-1 on Friday night at the Hermitage Little League Complex.

With Hermitage runners on first and second, Ian Staples stepped into the batter's box in the top of the third inning. Head coach Mike Bochert gave Staples the sign to fake bunt. Instead he got the bunt down. He would have beaten the throw to first base, but the ball went into foul territory in right field. The bases were cleared and Staples scored just before the throw.

"Fortunately for us, Ian's our best bunter," Bochert said. "He missed a sign but got it down anyway."

For Grove City, it was a year of growth. The players came from four different teams and had little familiarity. But as tournaments past, the group learned to play together.

"We come together at the end of the season, work our butts off, and being where we are, all things considered, I'm super proud of them," GC head coach Tom Adams said. "They've come a long way."

And given the age of the players, many on Grove City's roster needed to learn the more advanced aspects of baseball.

"We may have come up a little short, but they played like a baseball team," Adams said. "I'm proud of them."

Asher Adams took the loss for Grove City. He lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs — one earned — six hits and two walks. He struck out seven.

Jordan Bochert earned the win. He pitched five-plus no-hit innings. He struck out 11 while allowing one run on two walks.

"I was feeling very happy. Really happy for my team," Bochert said regarding his thoughts after the game. "My friend Spencer Kulka saved (my no-hitter). Just very happy"

Hermitage got on the board before Staples' bunt. King Wilson hit a leadoff triple in the third. After a walk by Bryson Rueberger, Will Geisel drove in Wilson with a single, and Staples followed.

Liam DeLong walked to start the bottom of the sixth. He eventually came around to score for Grove City's run.

Hermitage will continue their season with a trip to Latrobe the week of July 18. and a major reason was due to Staples getting his bunt down.

"He was definitely on tonight. Runs were hard to come by," Mike Bochert said. "When you get a couple runs like that, it gave us a little momentum, gave Jordan a little momentum on the mound to keep going. ... 4-1, it turned out to be exactly what we needed."