STERLING — The Rochelle Little League 10-12 Baseball All-Stars teed off the Illinois Little League District 19 Championship with a victory against Freeport at Gartner Park on Monday. The boys won by a score of 8-0 to reach the second round of the championship bracket.
Rochelle pitchers combined to allow only three hits in the game. Grant Gensler started on the mound, throwing two innings and striking out five batters. Breydan Andrews and Carson Lewis combined for four strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings, with Eli Koonce and Dalton Merriman throwing the final one and one-third innings.
Rochelle took a 5-0 lead with five runs in the top of the first inning. Brandyn Metzger reached on a fielder’s choice and scored when Brode Metzger delivered an RBI single to right. Kaiden Morris reached on an error before Elijah Harley scored on a wild pitch to make it a 2-0 game. Both Metzger and Morris scored on passed balls, and Gensler reached on an infield single to score Koonce, who entered as a special runner for Merriman.
Koonce singled to score Morris in the top of the third inning to put Rochelle ahead 6-0. Two batters later, Koonce crossed home plate on a passed ball to make it 7-0. Brode Metzger’s second RBI single of the game scored Harley in the top of the fourth inning.