Springville Little League makes it to league championships
The Springville Little League 16U team made it to the championship game. The team started out by playing Mel-Ott, winning that game 5 – 3.The second game was against Tonawanda, which was lost 7 – 3.
The third game was against RiverRock, which the team won 9 – 4. That match sent the 16U to the semi-finals, where the players faced Lockport.
At one point in the game, Lockport was up 8 – 5, but in the top of the seventh inning, Billy Dickinson pounded out a grand slam home run over center field, putting Springville up 9 – 8. In the bottom of the seventh, with runners on base and two outs, Jake Smith chased down a deep hit to left field with two outs, to end the game.
The next day, the team traveled back to Tonawanda to play the championship game. Jon Weronski took the mound for Springville, and neither team scored until the fourth inning.
Tonawanda ended up winning 2 – 0. This is the farthest Springville has made it in the Little League 16U division, according to Coach Brian Stedman.
“It is due to the great amount of talent on our team,” Stedman said. “We had great defense, excellent pitching and some timely hits from a team that just refused to give up.”
Along with Stedman, the coaches were Tom Weronski and Steve Conklin. Stedman recognized Cole Stanbro for filling in on championship day for a missing roster spot.
“Some highlights were Brian Poppenberg, for making a great catch in center field and then taking a beating off the fence, Billy Dickinson for his leadership behind the plate, Ty Conklin at short and Kyle McCarthy at second,” Stedman said. “Our pitchers did a great job: Conklin, Weronski, Dickinson and Kyle Crotty all threw well. Bryce Stedman at first was stellar [and] our outfield, led by Poppenberg, Jeremiah Bonning, Nick Lupica, Smith and Hayden Goodridge, all had great plays.
“In all reality, these boys could be played at about any position on the field and excelled,” Stedman continued.
“We, as a coaching staff, are very proud of our Springville boys ... We were not really viewed to accomplish much or go very deep into this tourney, but I guess we proved that theory wrong.”
Stedman credited the “strong baseball system in Springville” and Springville Youth Incorporated for his team’s success.