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Baseball lessons

Wherever baseball is played, there are winners and losers. Heroes and goats.

Head coach Bill Stroschein, left, helps the Cedar Rapids All-Stars get pumped up for their game against the MABA All-Stars of Missouri. Press-Citizen/Jason A. Cook

Even 10-year-olds are learning those lessons at the Midwest Plains Cal Ripken 10-and-under Regional Tournament at City Park.

The Mineral Area All-Stars, representing the state of Missouri, saw their season end in a marathon 19-18 loss Tuesday night.

The Cedar Rapids All-Stars, representing Iowa, won the game and advanced in their bracket.

"You bite off your fingernails," Missouri parent Tina Ruby said.

Tina and Dave Ruby drove more than 300 miles from their home in Desloge, Mo., to watch their son, Justin, play in Iowa City.

Justin said it was a good season even with the loss.

"Yeah," he said. "I've been playing since I was 6."

Justin doubled and tripled with three runs and three RBIs.

"We're really proud of him," Tina said.

Austin Stroschein of the Cedar Rapids All-Stars has eye black applied before Tuesday’s game.
Press-Citizen/Jason A. Cook

A win would have meant a chance at the regional title and a possible berth in the Babe Ruth League World Series next month in Vicennes, Ind. All-Star teams from Colorado, Kansas, Minne-sota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and the host team, Iowa City, also competed.

The Cedar Rapids All-Stars kept their hopes alive with the win. After trailing 6-0 in the top of the first inning, Cedar Rapids rallied for a 12-8 lead. Missouri kept coming and led 18-12 entering the sixth and final inning.

"There's plenty of kids that get down on themselves," Cedar Rapids assistant coach Jim Redmond said. "Actually the boy that scored the winning run, we took him out in the second inning because he was down on himself."

That boy was Jim's son, Michael.

"He ended up coming back in, pitching the last inning, getting the last out and ended up driving in a couple runs and scoring the winning run," Jim said.

Cedar Rapids scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth for the win. Michael Redmond scored the game-winner on a wild pitch.

"It's happened before to us," Michael said. "We came back by, like, six runs and won. The exact same thing happened."

Jim said it can be hard coaching his own son.

"It's very emotional," he said. "The last two games we had, when we shook hands with the other team, obviously, they were leaving the tournament. Seeing the kids with tears in their eyes makes it tough on me. It's just because those kids try so hard, and they're good. To see them be upset like that is tough."

Unfortunately for the Cedar Rapids players, they were the ones heading home after Tuesday's late game. Colorado won 14-12 and will play Minnesota in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. today. If Colorado wins, the teams will play again at 8 p.m. in the double-elimination format to determine who will advance to the World Series.

Tuesday's results
Minnesota 7, Colorado 3
Iowa 19, Missouri 18
Colorado 14, Iowa 12

Today's games
Minnesota vs. Colorado, 5:30 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Colorado, 8 p.m. (if necessary).

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