Game 14
Great Lakes
1 vs. Mid-Atlantic 0

Sunday, August 20, 2006
8:00PM ET

Defense, Pitching Propel Lemont to 1-0 Win
Game Ends When David Hearne’s No-Hitter Is Broken Up

By Mark Rogoff
Special Correspondent

It seems that nail-biting games are the norm for the Lemont (Ill.) Little League All-Stars, having played eight post-season games that have been decided by two runs or less going into Sunday’s tilt with Mid-Atlantic Region Champions from Staten Island, N.Y.

Most recently, Lemont fell, 1-0, to Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday at the Little League Baseball World Series.

Sunday was no different, playing in another 1-0 affair.  Only this time, they won.

David Hearne tossed the fourth one-hitter of the 60th World Series, and Chris Stoeberl’s RBI triple in the second inning provided the game’s only run, as Lemont improved to 1-1 in pool play.

The game played at Howard J. Lamade Stadium ended when Hearne's no-hitter ended.

With the score 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Hearne issued a one-out walk to Peter Sciarillo. Frank Smith then came to bat and laced a single up the middle. Sciarillo rounded second and headed for third on the play as centerfielder Zak Kutsulis fielded the ball cleanly and threw a perfect strike to Michael Kamp at third base.

Sciarillo was tagged out, and Smith advanced to second on the throw, but then started heading back to his dugout thinking the third out had been recorded. Kamp threw over to Stoeberl at first, where Smith was tagged out.

“When I saw him coming towards the dugout, I started yelling to Mike, ‘Throw me the ball!” Stoeberl said. “I saw him coming back, and I was like, ‘What is he doing?’”

“The emotion was unbelievable,” said Lemont Manager Mike Hall. “Our backs have been against the wall before, and these kids respond.”

Hearne found himself in the middle of a defensive gem, helping to preserve the 1-0 lead in the fourth.

With one out and Chris Goetz on third, clean-up hitter Robert Ortiz laid down a bunt to the right side. Hearne fielded the ball and fired to his catcher Zack Soria, who blocked home plate and tagged out the sliding Goetz.

“I realized I had to get the ball,” Hearne said. “I threw the ball home. The catcher was there blocking the plate nicely, and we got the guy out.”

Added manager Hall: “We’ve been working hard on defense the last couple of weeks. We’ve been working on plays out in front of the plate…David Hearne makes a great play spinning around. [Catcher] Zack Soria is a linebacker, a fullback, a really tough kid. Zack did a great job of blocking the plate. There was no way to call him safe.”

As for the no-hitter, Hearne said, “I didn’t even know it until Marty Joyce came up and told me, ‘That kid just broke up your no-hitter.’”

Stoeberl’s triple down the right-field line scored special pinch runner Kamp from first. Kamp was running for Austin Mastela, who was hit in the head by a Joe Calabrese fastball.

“It feels good because I haven’t been hitting that good,” Stoeberl said. “He gave me a fastball right down the plate and I just had to do something with it.”

With Stoeberl on third and no outs, Lemont couldn’t get him home to pad the lead. Worsech grounded out to the pitcher. Michael Hall then laced a liner down the right-field line that first baseman Dom Casella snagged in snow-cone fashion. Calabrese then got David Rimkus to strike out swinging to end the inning.

“We’ve been struggling the last two weeks,” manager Hall said. “We’ve been hitting some balls hard, but we’re just not catching a break. We’re just looking for something to find the hole some place.”



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