With travel ball wreaking havoc on house leagues across the country, the Ridge Beverly 12U All-Star team played against the grain.
Featuring a roster of players who have stuck together for the last three-plus years, the Celtics’ continued success kept on rolling this summer.
Defeating East Side on July 12, the 12U team won RB’s first 12U district championship in 15 years.
“It’s been a long time,” said RB 12U Coach Mike Perry. “There were years that RB didn’t have a 12U team because kids would go elsewhere after 10U or 11U. This team from 10 through 12 years old, we haven’t lost anybody. We’ve stuck together.”
RB advanced to the Warren Park sectional with a bid to state on the line.
The Celtics split their first two sectional games, losing to River Forest and defeating host Warren Park.
With rain delaying the double-elimination sectional schedule, RB played Bradley Bourbonnais on July 22, after press time, in an elimination game.
A victory would advance RB to the championship against River Forest. The team would need 2 victories to win the sectional title.
The 12U team has experienced a heck of a ride in recent years, including making a run to state in its 10U season.
However, since then, Perry said, the players have consistently improved.
“We made state and didn’t do so well, but the kids were really excited to be there,” Perry said. “This season, our defense has definitely improved a lot. Our pitching too has been tremendously better. In years past where we had two or three pitchers, we now have five or six kids who can throw.”
Tadgh Callaghan and Cooper McAlilly have been a strong 1-2 punch to lead the rotation for the Celtics. Patrick Hermanson, Marty Mann, Aiden Beemsterboer and Tommy Perry have all pitched well this season as well.
Offensively, Jackson Barrins, Callaghan and Hermanson have paced the offense. Perry said Mann, Tommy Lyons and McAlillly have also been consistent hitters for the Celtics.
Seeing his team mature over the years, the focus was different for the 12U squad.
“You see them appreciate it a little more,” Perry said. “They’re all buddies, and we have some great families; so, you worry games are more of a social event. When we take the field though, it’s game time, especially this Little League tournament. They’ve been laser focused.”
The RB 12U roster includes McAlilly, Beemsterboer, Jude Liss, Lyons, Cormac Lacy, Tommy Perry, Callaghan, Matty McNicholas, Tater Klinger, Mike Carroll, Mann, Barrins, Joe Moonan and Hermanson.
Perry, Mike Moonan and Eric Hermanson round out the coaching staff.
Ridge Beverly 3
Warren Park 2
With his offense scoring 2 runs in the fourth to go up for good, Hermanson delivered a gem on the mound, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks with 6 strikeouts in a complete-game effort as RB won on July 20.
Beemsterboer and Liss knocked in a run each. Callaghan, Lyons and Mann scored a run apiece.
River Forest 11
Ridge Beverly 0
Hermanson (2 walks) and McAlilly (walk) led RB on July 19.