SANDWICH — The Rochelle Rampage 9U baseball team finished first in the 2022 Sandwich Summer Classic with a 3-0 record. Rochelle defeated Sandwich 11-1 on Thursday before taking down Batavia 13-7 on Saturday to reach the final round on Sunday. Rochelle faced Oswego for the tournament championship, winning 14-4 to claim the title and finish with a 3-0 record.
Trailing 1-0, Rochelle scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning to surge ahead 3-1. Gavin Smith walked and scored on a passed ball before Griffin Rutledge singled on a line drive to right field to score Brycen Williams. Riley Heal added an RBI single two batters later, hitting a hard ground ball through the left side of the infield and allowing Rutledge to cross home plate.
Rochelle rallied for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-1 lead. Dominic Escatel smashed a three-run homer to spark the outburst, while Tanner Dixon reached on an error three batters later to score Eli Thompson and Smith. Rochelle sealed the win with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, where Brantley Koenig belted a two-RBI double and Heal followed with an RBI single. Rochelle totaled 11 hits and committed only one error in the win.
Thompson started on the mound for Rochelle, throwing three innings and striking out eight batters while allowing only one hit. Escatel entered in relief, tossing two innings with five strikeouts and one hit allowed. Heal went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Rutledge went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Smith and Williams each scored two runs to lead the Rochelle offense.
Down 3-0, Rochelle scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, where Dominic Escatel slapped a two-RBI single with the bases loaded to score Grange Kissack and Riley Heal. Brycen Williams tied the score in the bottom of the second inning, reaching on an RBI infield single that allowed Gavin Smith to score. A two-RBI double from Brantley Koenig and a two-RBI single from Heal soon after capped off a six-run frame and propelled Rochelle over Batavia 7-3.
Batavia fought back in the top of the third inning, tallying four runs to even the score at 7-7. Rochelle answered with three runs in the bottom of the third inning, where Smith drilled an RBI single to left field before Tanner Dixon reached on an error in the next at-bat, which brought Eli Thompson and Smith home to make the score 10-7. Rochelle added three runs on Smith’s bases-loaded walk and a two-RBI single from Dixon in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Rochelle finished with 10 hits in the win. Dixon totaled a team-high four RBIs, while Smith and Williams each went 2-for-2 while combining for three runs scored and three RBIs. Escatel went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs and Koenig went 1-for-1 with one run and two RBIs. Kissack entered and threw two and two-thirds innings of relief in the win, striking out six batters.
Rochelle took the early lead in the championship game, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning to surge ahead 3-0. Noah Hayden doubled and Dominic Escatel followed with a three-run homer to left field two batters later, which brought Hayden and Brantley Koenig home. Oswego answered with three runs in the top of the second inning to tie the score at 3-3.
Rochelle responded with five runs in the bottom of the second inning to go ahead 8-3. Hayden sparked the rally with a one-out RBI single to score Tanner Williams and give Rochelle the lead. Heal then sent a two-RBI single into center during the next at-bat, allowing Hayden and Jimmy Chadwick to score. Eli Thompson and Gavin Smith continued the offensive outburst with back-to-back RBI singles, bringing Heal and Koenig home to cap off the five-run frame.
Rochelle extended its lead with five runs in the bottom of the third inning to pull away 13-3. Brycen Williams walked and Grange Kissack singled to open the frame, while Tanner Williams followed with a three-run homer to center. Leading 11-3, Rochelle continued to fire when Hayden reached on a two-RBI infield single to the shortstop, scoring Chadwick and Koenig.
Oswego scratched one run in the top of the fourth inning and Rochelle iced the championship win with one run on an RBI single from Heal in the bottom of the fifth inning. Rochelle totaled 15 hits in the win, with four players including Hayden, Heal, Escatel and Tanner Williams recording three RBIs. Hayden and Heal each had three hits, while Koenig and Chadwick each scored three runs. Hayden, Kissack and Koenig combined to strike out three over five innings pitched.