The Warren County South All-Stars dropped a 5-1 decision to Illinois state champion Hinsdale in the Little League Baseball Great Lakes Regional on Monday in Whitestown, Ind.
WC South totaled just two hits for the second straight game. But unlike Sunday’s regional-opening 2-1 win over Hamilton (Ohio) West End, the offense wasn’t enough for the Kentucky state champions to pull out a victory.
"I think they've still got some nerves and they're just trying to do too much," WC South manager Cary Page said. "The kids know what they're capable of and when it doesn't come right away, they're just trying a little too hard. We've just got to get back to the basics of what's good for them.
"We obviously aren't hitting it very well but we were really only one or two plays away from winning that game today. That really says something about our team -- as tough as we have been on ourselves, we're still in the game to win it all the way to the last innings."
WC South remains alive in the double-elimination tournament and will be back in action Tuesday against Brookfield (Wis.) Elmbrook National, which lost 10-0 to Taylor (Mich.) North in its opening game Sunday. Tuesday’s game is set for 3 p.m. CDT and will air on ESPN+.
Hinsdale got off to a quick start against WC South, plating two runs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 2-0 lead.
The Illinois champions went dormant over the next two innings but erupted for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to build a 5-0 lead.
WC South, other than a first-inning single by Justin Capps, was held silent through four innings. In the top of the fifth, WC South threatened by loading the bases. Dylan Fair started the rally by reaching first base on a dropped third strike, Zac Owsley drew a walk and Noah Rowland was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hinsdale escaped the jam by inducing an inning-ending groundout.
In the top of the sixth, WC South rallied as Joseph Fentress led off with a single and Capps drew a walk before both moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Dylan Marr was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Lukas Peterson came through with an RBI groundout to get WC South within four runs at 5-1.
Hinsdale escaped further damage, inducing the game-ending groundout to secure the win.
WC South held Hinsdale to seven hits, with Ethan York firing a scoreless 1 1/3 innings of relief to finish out the game.
"I told the kids right after the game that the best part of this game is you get to play again the very next day," Page said. "It's not football, where you've got to wait seven days after a loss. This is a great thing -- you can throw it in the trash, get rid of it and come back tomorrow and go do your best."