North Oldham 10-11s win Little League state championship

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By Elliott Pratt

One batter into the state championship game, and Jonathan Klein was ready to give up.


As the ace for the North Oldham 10-and- 11-year-old All-Star team, Klein was shaking on the mound, his disapproval for the confidence everyone else had in him visible to those watching.

“Parents could see him trying to give me the ball saying he can’t do it,” manager Levi Bistrow said. “He was nervous and crying and I had never seen him like that before. He’s one of the best pitchers in the whole league as an 11-year-old. I told him he’s our best pitcher and we had to have him.”

Klein settled down and transformed a nervous start into a championship performance.

The ace gave up just one run and was one out from a complete game as the North Oldham 10-11s claimed the state title with a 7-1 win over Lexington Eastern last Wednesday at Walsh Park.

Klein threw six strikeouts and allowed four hits.

“It felt good winning a state championship at our own place,” Klein said. “I was getting a little tired at the end but I battled through it. I’m going to remember this for a long time.”

Jake Lindman got North Oldham started early with a two-out three-run home run in the top of the first inning for a 3-0 lead. Sam Young followed up on Brady Pickle’s leadoff walk to hit a RBI double into centerfield to make it 4-0 in the third. Justin Wilson and Jonathan Klein had back-to-back RBIs to build a 6-0 lead. Lexington Eastern got on the board in the third on a RBI single and Grant Gibson homered in the sixth for the 7-1 score.

Young closed the game with one out remaining.

Pickle and Young each had two hits and Jake Lindeman led with three RBIs.

North started the tournament hot with a 11-0 five inning win over Nelson County, highlighted by Graham Gibson’s three-run homer in the fourth inning. The team seemingly had a comfortable spot in the semifinals after its 12-7 win over Glasgow on day two of pool play. Only the worst case scenario would eliminate them from semifinal play, or so they believed.

The following Monday, Bowling Green East took care of North Oldham in four innings with a 13-3 win, leaving Bistrow and the team anxiously waiting for other teams’ results.

“I didn’t expect to go to the ballpark that day with the season being over,” Bistrow said. “It was so sudden and we were on a high and just faced a dominant pitcher. How could we possibly think we’re out of the tournament? It was tough. I couldn’t stop thinking about it the rest of the day.”

North cruised through the semifinals with hot bats in a 11-7 win over Hazard-Perry County before claiming the state title.

“Rarely in life do you work so hard for something and what you envision happens, happens,” Bistrow said. “The kids deserved it and it was great to see something you worked for and planned for work out. It was pretty awesome.”




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