ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Little League 14U Baseball All-Stars teed off the Illinois Little League Junior League State Championship tournament on their home field Wednesday evening, squaring off in a first-round matchup against Chicago East Side. Rochelle fell by a score of 19-9 to move into the consolation bracket. Rochelle will face either LaSalle or Elmhurst-River Forest next.
Rochelle tallied one run to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Ethan Goodwin doubled and scored on an RBI groundout from Frankie Pelan. Chicago East Side tied the game at 1-1 with one run on one single and a balk from Rochelle in the bottom of the first inning.
Rochelle surged ahead with five runs in the top of the second inning. Pelan smashed a two-RBI triple to bring home Mark Green and Ethan Goodwin, who each reached on base hits. Pelan then scored on an RBI groundout from Van Gerber. Ryan Senne reached on an error and scored when Tony Milburn delivered a two-out, run-scoring single on a line drive to second base. Colten Manning singled and Caden Goodwin reached on an error to plate Milburn.
Chicago East Side answered with six runs on five singles and two walks in the bottom of the second inning to take a 7-6 lead. Ethan Goodwin walked and scored on another RBI groundout from Pelan before Gerber scored on a ball out of play to put Rochelle ahead 8-7 in the top of the fourth inning. Chicago East Side exploded for 11 runs on four singles, two doubles and one grand slam in the bottom of the fourth inning to break the first-round matchup open.
Ethan Goodwin kept Rochelle alive in the top of the fifth inning, smacking an RBI double to score Deegan Schabacker. Chicago East Side sealed its victory with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. Gerber pitched three innings for Rochelle, recording two strikeouts.