HLL 10U All-Stars capture state championship

The Hinsdale Little League 10U District All-Star team ending its seasons with an 11-0 record and wins at each of the three tournaments on the path to becoming Illinois state champions: District (played in Burr Ridge), Sub-State (played in Burbank) and State (played in Ogelsby). State is the final tournament for 10-year-old teams.

The Hinsdale boys beat Elmhurst in the final game of the state round by a score of 4-3 on an eighth-inning walk off sacrifice fly by Cal Gambla that scored Chase Morris. Regulation games typically are six innings, but the teams were tied at 3-3 after the 6th and 7th innings.

The season lasted six weeks and the boys had 25 practices in the summer heat, in addition to the 11 games.

The team’s 13 players represented eight different regular season HLL teams and four different Devils Baseball Club travel teams.

“One of our main challenges was taking a group of kids who had never played together and turning them into a team,” manager Preston Tims said. “Many of the players had to learn new defensive positions and generally take on roles that they’d never been in.”

The Little League tournament rules are different from the regular season and from travel ball, both in terms of playing rules and substitution procedures.

“This dynamic created challenges for the players as well as coaches,” Tims said.

Some of the team’s most competitive games were against Clarendon Hills early in the district round. Not only was it great baseball, but the boys had fun playing against their friends, neighbors and Devils travel teammates.

The team won 9 of 11 coin flips to capture the advantage as the home team.

The team celebrated the district championship with pizza and the arcade at Papa Passero’s, enjoyed a team pizza party at the Peirce Park picnic tables before the state tournament began and celebrated the win at state with a team party at Fuller House after returning from the championship game in Ogelsby.

The boys had a great time rooting for the 12U HLL team that also won state. The boys attended a number of the 12U District and Sub-State games and were a formidable cheering section.

“We learned a lot from the 12U’s perseverance to come back and win their Sub-State tourney after a tough early loss,” Tims said.

Team members are Keaton Cassell, Logan Douglass, Cal Gambla, Luke Main, Spencer Marnell, Chase Morris, Jude Rastorfer, Landon Ronaldson, Dylan Thick, Clayton Tims, Brock Willits Matthew Wiskowski and Liam Wos.

Coaches are Crag Cassell and Bill Main.

Photos appear online at https://www.facebook.com/thehinsdalean.