On to World Series for Janesville 14s
He can add rewarding and successful to the list.
Janesville held off South Lexington (Ky.), 5-4, here Wednesday to win the Ohio Valley Regional title and gain a berth in the Babe Ruth World Series in Glen Allen, Va., beginning Aug. 20.
The local 14s went through the double-elimination Ohio Valley Regional undefeated, thanks to tournament MVP Nick Blomgren and a strong supporting cast.
“Once we put the pieces of this puzzle together, I really thought this team had a chance to get this far,” Kobs said. “These kids have made my job easy.
“And it’s not just one or two kids. It’s because we have gotten contributions from every kid on the roster.
“We’ve put kids in situations where they had to respond, and they’ve done that. Today was no different.”
Janesville trailed 2-1 in the fifth before taking the lead for good with two runs in the top of the inning. Jared Hoffarth scored the go-ahead run in the fifth on McCauley Cox’s suicide bunt.
Logan Coulter doubled to lead off the sixth for Janesville and scored on Connor Bowen’s RBI single. Janesville made it 5-2 in the seventh when Charlie Platts raced home on a passed ball.
South Lexington, which needed to defeat Janesville twice to win the Ohio Valley title, nearly forced a second game with a rally in the seventh. Two walks and an infield single eventually led to two South Lexington runs, but with the bases loaded and two outs, Cox made the play of the tournament when he scooped up a bad-hop grounder and threw to first for the final out.
“McCauley made two unbelievable plays in the sixth and seventh,” Kobs said. “He made a diving catch in the sixth and then turned around a made an amazing play to end the game.
“But that’s the kind of effort we have gotten from everybody since our first practice more than a month ago. These kids have worked hard, and because they’ve played together before and have had success, they expect to win.”
Hoffarth picked up the win in relief in the title game, while Blomgren came on to earn the save.
Bowen and Blomgren each had two hits in the game.
The local 14s became the fourth team from the city to qualify for a World Series, following the 1966 Babe Ruth team, the 1989 American Legion team and the 2007 14-year-old Babe Ruth team.
Janesville faces the Middle Atlantic champion in the opening of pool play at Glen Allen, where the 14-year-old team played four years ago.
JANESVILLE 5, S. LEXINGTON (Ky.) 4
Janesville 100 021 1—5 9 3
S. Lexington 000 200 2—4 6 4
Brandt, Hoffarth (4), Blomgren (7) and Marro; Calia, Thomas (6) and Van Fangmeyer.
Leading hitters—Bowen (J) 2x4, Blomgren (J) 2x3. 2B—Coulter (J).
SO—Brandt (J) 4, Hoffarth (J) 2, Calia (SL) 4, Thomas (SL) 2. BB—Brandt 2, Hoffarth 2, Blomgren 1, Calia 1, Thomas 1.
W—Hoffarth. L—Calia. S—Blomgren.