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Youth baseball: Bedford tops Valpo for junior state title

Updated: August 31, 2013 6:35AM



PORTAGE — The Valparaiso American Juniors had an undefeated district record, and they were doing well in the state tournament until they ran into unbeaten Bedford. Bedford put Valparaiso in the losers’ bracket with an 18-run loss earlier in the tourney. Sunday, Valparaiso beat Lowell.

That put the Valparaiso 13-14-year-olds back against Bedford on Monday. To reach the championship game, Valparaiso would have had to beat Bedford.

Bedford’s strong-throwing Drew Hensley allowed three hits, and its bats powered the southern Indiana team to a 12-0 victory.

The win clinched the championship, and Bedford will be off to the regionals in Fort Wayne.

Valparaiso finished 8-2 in the postseason.

“In the district we didn’t lose any,” said manager Tony Klobacer. “Our kids shouldn’t be ashamed.”

Klobacer made some defensive adjustments.

“We wanted to keep them off-balance,” he said. “We went to a speedy outfield. They found the holes, we tried to put our best defense out there.

“We knew it would be tough offensively. We never got anything going,” he said. “(Hensley) was throwing strikes, and his curve was there, too.”

Klobacer added, “It’s a tough loss, but I’m proud of our kids, making it this far.”

He added the players will all be freshmen at Andrean.

The manager sent Jake Sherman to the mound. Sherman allowed runs in the first two innings. But then, he settled down and got through the next two innings before the Bedford got rolling again. The visitors got a run in the sixth on an error at third base, and Derek Lasky relieved Sherman in the seventh.

“They hit all the places we weren’t,” Sherman said of the difficult first two innings. “I was trying to junk it, keeping the ball low. We didn’t want them hitting over our heads.”

After the second inning, Sherman threw the ball harder.

“We got them to pop out, to ground out,” he said.

Lasky, who had been pretty consistent, especially with a strong seventh inning Sunday, had a hard time finding the plate, and Bedford added five more runs on five walks, two singles and a HBP.



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