Rockford youth sports report
BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
The first ever Jim Thome Showcase U10A baseball tournament in Rockford will be a hard act to follow for the U11A Rockford Area Athletic Association (RAAA) team when playing host to a similar event June 20-21.
Rockford’s U10A team took top honors at the tourney played at BankWest-Lamperts Field, site of the recently named Jim Thome Field. Thome was a primary financial contributor to the new park in Rockford.
The U11A Jim Thome Park Showcase is June 20-22. It is a qualifier for the Minnesota Sports Federation AA state tournament.
It was the second tournament title in as many weeks for the U10 squad. Rockford opened the tournament with a 6-5 win over Delano. Saturday, the team posted a 9-0 win against Buffalo Lake/Hector/Stewart to advance to Sunday’s title game when topping Watertown, 11-1.
Max Hudlow batted 4 for 7, Nolan Perry was 5 for 8 and Brady Yakesh went 6 for 8, driving in four runs. Yakesh also pitched four and two-thirds innings, allowing one hit with 11 strikeouts. Derek Pepin pitched three and two-thirds innings, striking out five. Hudlow struck out seven batters in three innings of pitching.
A week earlier the Rockford U10A team won the Glencoe/Plato Wood Bat Tournament. The Rockets defeated Mound-Westonka 6-2, Glencoe-Silver Lake 7-0 and Annandale 3-2 in the title game.
Pepin, Hudlow and Yakesh combined for a no-hit, 15-strikeout shutout against Glencoe in the semifinals. The same three combined for a 3-hit, 15 strikeout, one-run win to start the tourney. In the championship game Nolan
Perry, Hudlow and Yakesh pitched.
For the tourney, Pepin pitched five scoreless innings, giving up one hit
and striking out 13. Yakesh pitched six innings, giving up four hits
and striking out 16 batters. Hudlow pitched five innings, allowing only two hits and striking out eight.
Pepin powered the offense by going 5 for 7. The Rockets are coached by Steve Yakesh, Chris Hudlow and Kevin Reed.
Fastpitch team wins title
The Rockford fastpitch U10 Black team played in the Bison Showdown in Buffalo June 7-8 and took first place in the silver bracket.
After struggling the first day losing all three games, the girls entered bracket play as an 11 seed and won their next three games to win the championship game.
In order to earn first place the team had to win all three games on Sunday, defeating Buffalo Purple 11-10, Buffalo Black and Becker Blue 20-9.
Softball teams head to New Ulm
Rockford’s U10 Black, U12, U14 and U16 fastpitch teams will be travelling to New Ulm June 21-22 to play in the 25th annual New Ulm Windmill Classic.
Twins community grants
RAAA fastpitch received two Twins Community Fund grants, one for youth coaching and one for equipment.
The $1,000 youth coaching grant has enabled RAAA fastpitch to hire local high school students to work with the youth teams on specific skills like hitting, pitching and catching.
RAAA fastpitch used the $2,000 equipment grant to purchase two pitching machines, new catching gear for all teams, two portable screen protectors and new tees.