By GREG MENGELT
Today at 6 p.m., the five remaining players from Jeff/GRC’s two Little League World Series team will all be on the field at the same time for the last time.
Providence senior Ben Shahroudi will face off against Jeffersonville’s Drew Ellis, Chandler Dale, Hayden Robb and Josh Burke when the Pioneers and Red Devils meet at Don Poole Field.
“I think it will definitely be bittersweet for us to know it’s the last time we’ll all be playing together,” said Ellis, who has signed to continue his baseball career at Louisville and is being scouted by several Major League teams. “But we’re going to embrace it like any other game and we’re going to have some fun with it.”
Derek Ellis managed the Jeff/GRC team that won the state championship and the Great Lakes Region to earn a spot at the famed Williamsport, Penn., national tournament. The Red Devils’ second-year coach admitted that the final reunion will be emotional.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “With Ben coming over, it’s going to be special knowing that it’s going to be the last time they’re ever going to be on a baseball field together. To share that moment with those five guys is pretty special.”
Jeff reached the 2008 World Series by going 5-1 and beating Mount Vernon, Ohio, 11-4 in the championship game of the Great Lakes Region at Indianapolis. It went 0-3 at Williamsport despite a no-hitter by Drew Ellis in its opener.
Two years later, Robb, Burke, Drew Ellis and Dale helped lead Jeff/GRC back to the World Series in Taylor, Mich., by winning the Central Region tournament at Fort Wayne. It went 2-2, including a 7-4 victory over Mechanicsville, Va., on a Drew Ellis walkoff grand slam Little League game for the five players who will meet today.
Dale Sariscsany managed the Junior World Series squad.