St, Joseph Minor Little League team Busey Bank crowned league champions, defeat Philo 5-4 on Wednesday evening.

For the second consecutive season, a team from St. Joseph can call themselves champions in little league recreational baseball.

The St. Joseph team, which is sponsored by Busey Bank, put everything on the line in the league championship game on Wednesday night, and came away with a hard-fought, 5-4 victory over a Philo squad in the title game of the East Central Illinois Little League tournament, which was held at Fireman’s Park in Philo.

Cameron Buskirk, who was the team’s ace all season long, got the ball for St. Joseph, and let his pitching do the talking on the mound, as he struck out 13 batters, while only allowing one run in 4 and one-third innings pitched.  Buskirk could have gone further, but he reached the pitch count limit of 75 pitches with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Buskirk also did some damage at the plate, as he helped St. Joseph take an early 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning, as he and Jonathan Moore had RBI singles.  St. Joseph added two more runs in the top of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead, as Buskirk once again plated a run with another hit.

In the top of the fourth inning, Elias Krall bounced out to first base, scoring another run after Tripp Palmer led off the inning with a base on balls, giving St. Joseph a 5-1 lead.

Philo’s pitcher, Colin Graven, was equally effective, striking out 12 batters in his four-innings pitched before being replaced by Maddux Sutherland, who struck out six in his two innings of work.

Once Buskirk’s evening was finished, Moore entered the game and struggled early, allowing a few Philo baserunners, which led to three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to close the gap to 5-4.

However, Moore regained his composure, and got the first two outs in the bottom half of the sixth, before allowing a couple of baserunners via the walk.  Once Moore got the final batter to swing for strike three, the nerves of the fans in attendance subsided and the team began to celebrate on the field, knowing that they had captured the title. 

“This was a total team effort, and we never quit out there tonight.  We didn’t lose a game in the entire tourney, and this game was by far their best effort of the season”, St. Joseph head coach Kevin Buskirk said following the game on his team’s effort in the title contest.

The Philo team that St. Joseph defeated for the title beat them in the regular season, but as Buskirk noted, the team kept getting stronger and stronger as the regular season concluded, and then in the tournament, they relied on their pitching and timely hitting to get the job done. 

The team was coached by Kevin Buskirk and assisted by T. J. Palmer, and members of the team were Declan Yohnka, Wyatt Wertz, Cameron Buskirk, Jonathan Moore, Tripp Palmer, Elias Krall, Vincent Santanelli, Caleb Cotter, Skyler Graham and Collin Burnett.

 

Categories (2):Misc., Sports

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