Valparaiso American Juniors to face Bedford at shot for title
By Terry Turner Post-Tribune correspondent July 28, 2013 11:20PM
Updated: August 30, 2013 6:58AM
PORTAGE — The Valparaiso American Juniors will face unbeaten Bedford at 5:30 this afternoon for the chance to play in the championship game of the Little League 13-14 Junior State Tournament against Bedford at 8 p.m.
The American Juniors earned the right to play Bedford by defeating Lowell 8-5 on Sunday in the losers bracket of the tourney. Lowell had advanced earlier in the afternoon, defeating Franklin Twp., 14-7.
Against Valparaiso, Lowell took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with Alex Howard and Corey Kijurna driving runs off starter Kyle Zellers.
But Valpo came back in the second inning taking advantage of a balk and an error to score Trace Ramsey and Ray Kreloff.
“Zellers allowed those first two runs, but he didn’t get down on himself, and was able to pitch well until we could get (Derek) Lasky into the game,” said American manager Klobucar.
“Our offense clicked,” said Klobucar. The top of the order came through.”
Jake Sherman scored three runs and Lasky two to lead the team to the win.
When Lowell put two runners on in the top of the sixth, Klobucar brought his son Eric in to pitch with two on. Kijurna, Brett Skorka and Nick Slavis all scored, helped by an error. That cut the Valparaiso lead to 6-5. With the bases empty, Klobucar allowed another single, then got three of the next four batters out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, American got a cushion with Sherman and Lasky both scoring.
Lasky came in at the top of the seven after a Lowell single, and closed out the game, forcing a grounder back to him, and two strikeouts.
In the afternoon game, Lowell dominated as their offense helped control things, with Austin Giordano starting, then Kijurna and Skorka coming in in relief.
Franklin Township did make a run a Lowell with six runs in the sixth, but Lowell helped itself by holding the central Indiana team scoreless in the seventh.