Boys Baseball: Crest Hill Pony All-Stars hope fourth time is a charm
From Submitted Reports July 31, 2012 6:22PM
Crest Hill Pony All-Stars. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 2, 2012 6:05AM
Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm as the Crest Hill Pony All-Stars dream of playing in the Pony World Series in Washington, Pa.
The local 14-year-olds, under the direction of veteran manager Joe Marshall, will open in the Bay County (Mich.) North Zone Tournament against the host team at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner of the zone will earn a berth in the World Series.
Crest Hill also will play at 2:30 p.m. Friday and at noon Saturday in pool play. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the semifinals and finals Sunday.
The North Zone features three teams from Illinois, one each from Iowa and Indiana and three from Michigan.
This is the fourth trip to the Pony Zone for Marshall. His teams went to the Zone in 2000, ’07 and ’11, having played in the finals each time but have not gotten over that hump.
“This team is deeper in pitching and is hitting very well,” Marshall said.
Crest Hill has a 17-0 record in All-Star play, scoring 223 runs while allowing 20, and has outhit the opposition 211-44.
“We have allowed three runs twice, two runs five times, one run four times and have six shutouts, and have made only seven errors in the 17 games,” Marshall said.
The pitching staff is led by Matt Taller, the team’s top pitcher the past two seasons. Taller’s last lost was a game last year at Bay City, Mich., 1-0 to Central Michigan, his only loss in two years of All-Star play. He averages 13 strikeouts per seven innings and sports a 0.32 ERA.
Taller plays shortstop when not pitching, bats fourth and leads the team with a .580 batting average. He has four home runs and 27 RBI.
Julian Ornelas is the No. 2 pitcher, bats leadoff and is hitting .532. Ornelas leads the team with 33 hits 20 stolen bases. Ornelas also plays shortstop and second base.
Deiondre Taylor bats second, is the third pitcher and plays second base. He leads the team with six homers, is hitting .500 and shares the RBI lead with Taller. His 18 stolen bases rank second on the team.
Catcher Jonathan Allison bats third. He’s hitting .377 and leads the regular-season team with a .515 batting average and in stolen bases. He leads the team with eight doubles and is the No. 4 pitcher.
Third baseman/pitcher Grant Conklin bats fifth and is hitting .363 with five doubles and two homers.
First baseman Brandon Cox bats sixth and is hitting .386. Center fielder/pitcher Tyler Nunn is hitting .304 and went 8-2 in the regular season.
Right fielder/pitcher Nolan Edwards bats eighth and is hitting .340. Terry Young, among the fastest players on the team, plays left field and is batting .400 out of the ninth spot.
Reserves include third baseman/outfielder Chris Jarrett (.480 average), catcher/outfielder Nick Jones (.345, 3 HRs), outfielder/first baseman Jack Allison (.450) and speedy outfielder/second baseman Rico Gonzalez (.286). Allison is the only 13-year-old on the team.
Rich Taller and Bob Edwards are Marshall’s assistants.