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Padres Crunch the Cardinals and Celebrate League Title

Padres Crunch the Cardinals and Celebrate League Title
The Padres are the LaGrange Youth League baseball champions for 11 and 12-year-olds. Coach Jake Hembree’s Padres team is a relentless 12-0 on the season.

 

Chris Fernsler

Sports Editor

It was a Padres kind of evening.

Chris Lewis and his baseball brethren had another winning night on the field, on the scoreboard and in the post-game celebration.

The Youth League Padres never blinked, but they did break open a close game with some timely hits from Chris Lewis and Landon Allen as the Padres finished off the Cardinals, 10-5 on Tuesday night at the Harris Baseball Complex in LaGrange.

“We never stop playing, and we keep on hitting. We never give up either,” said Lewis, the Padres starting pitcher.

And there was a victory celebration after the game, too. The Padres, an unblemished 12-0, received their league championship trophies afterward for 11 and 12-year-olds.

The Padres players earned every accolade and every trophy. It’s been a long, hard haul for the team that finished 1-12 just last season.

“We work (hard) in every inning. We hit and run, and we play with the desire (to excel),” said Padres head coach Jake Hembree.

The Padres were given nothing either. The Cardinals very nearly pulled off the baseball upset.

“We wanted to win, and we wanted to be the first team to beat the Padres. But they had too many base runners and hitters,” said Cardinals third baseman Jack Riley.

The upset-minded Cardinals still trimmed the Padres lead to 3-2 in the second inning and 7-5 in the bottom of the third inning. The Cardinals were breathing fire.

“We were hitting the ball down the middle,” said Riley.

The Cardinals scored on a wild pitch in the second frame, and they would rally with a Bear Napier RBI single and a Riley two-run single in the bottom of the third inning.

Coach Nick Poe’s Cardinals also got a single from his son and shortstop, Cameron Poe, in the first inning.

But it was the Padres, the league’s finest, who made amends and scored runs with a Calen Mitchell two-RBI single in the first inning, as well as a Chris Lewis two-run single in the third frame.

Mitchell and Roy Claybrook also scored on a Cardinal defensive miscue in the third inning.

The Padres would go on the warpath again in the top of the fourth inning. The 11 and 12-year-old league champions put the squeeze on a 10-5 lead with a Landon Allen RBI triple to the right field porch.

The Padres also scored two runs in the fourth on a pair of Cardinal wild pitches.

“The Padres have reached a level of maturity, and they practice a lot. That’s a good baseball team that knows how to hit,” said Nick Poe, the coach of the Cardinals.

Baseball effort counted plenty in the Padres-Cardinals Youth League game on Tuesday night at the Harris Complex. The Padres beat the Cardinals, 10-5.

 

Bear Napier of the Cardinals scampers toward first base in a Recreation League baseball game against the first-place Padres on Tuesday night in LaGrange.

 

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