By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS
On to the state tournament.
The Goshen All-Stars No. 1 won the Little League 9-10 District 14 championship Saturday afternoon, rallying to defeat Concord, 7-5 at the Cleveland Little League ballpark.
With the victory, Goshen now moves on to the state tournament. Play in Jeffersonville gets under way on Thursday.
Saturday afternoon at Cleveland, the Goshen All-Stars found themselves facing adversity for the first time in the district tournament.
Goshen trailed 5-4 entering the sixth inning. But Goshen was able to rally for three runs in the top of the frame to take a 7-5 lead.
Cruz Garcia and Skylar Reyes had key hits in the frame for Goshen.
And then Reyes got it done on the mound to earn the victory — but not without some drama.
With one out, Concord used back-to-back singles and a stolen base to get runners to second and third.
That put the tying run on second and brought the potential winning run to the plate.
But Reyes was able to get a strikeout, then a sroundout to short to end the game and preserve the come-from-behind win for Goshen.
Reyes said it was a simple matter of focusing on the hitter at the plate — and trusting his defense.
“I’ve got seven good players behind me,” Reyes said.
Goshen coach Billy Penland said his team’s heart made the difference.
“These guys didn’t quit,” Penland said. “We’ve got a bunch of great kids.”
For Concord coach Kevin D’Arcy, the loss didn’t detract from a good tournament run for his squad.
“We had the lead, and we couldn’t close it out,” D’ Arcy said.
Jack D’Arcy was 2-for-4 for Concord. Ethan Smith was 2-for-4 and Dalton Swinehart was 3-for-4.
So far in the District 14 tournament, it had been a pretty smooth ride for the Goshen No. 1 squad.
They had gone 5-0, outscoring their opponents 55-8, and winning games by scores of 12-2; 7-3; 13-0; 12-0 and 13-3.
Four of the victories came via the 10-run rule.