The 42nd Annual Roy A. Overholt Invitational Little League baseball tournament kicked off its first week with LaGrange and Riverside both advancing.
The tournament has been held every year since 1963 and is now one of the longest running tournaments in northern Illinois. Since 1978, it has been named after Roy Overholt, a Riverside-Brookfield High School graduate and former area youth sports coach that started the tournament. All games are held at Kiwanis Park in Brookfield at 7:30 p.m. each night.
LaGrange opened the tourney Aug. 1 with a 5-0 win over last year's third-place team. The White Sox scored all five of their runs in the first and went on to blank South Cicero the rest of the way.
Riverside followed that with a 17-6 win against North Riverside on Aug. 2. Despite beginning the game in a 2-0 hole, Riverside would score the next 15 runs and tack on another pair before winning in four innings.
LaGrange advanced to face Brookfield American on Tuesday (after deadline), while Riverside will take on last year's second-place finisher, Brookfield National, tonight.
Brookfield American, Brookfield National, Western Springs, Lyons McCook and LaGrange Park all received first-round byes in this year's tournament. Western Springs is the returning champion, while Brookfield National has finished second three straight years and five of the past seven years, but hasn't won the tournament since 1995.
Host Brookfield National has historically been a contender for the tourney title, winning six championships, finishing second 12 times and finishing third three times.
Recently, South Cicero has been one of the toughest teams to beat at the tournament, finishing among the top three six times in the last nine years, including four years with tournament titles. The team is the last to win back-to-back titles (1996-97) and is the only repeat champion of the past seven years.
Western Springs and LaGrange Park will play Thursday with the winner advancing to face tonight's game next Tuesday. The winners from Monday's Lyons Township-Lyons McCook and Tuesday's Brookfield American-LaGrange games will play Aug. 15.
The tournament's third-place game will be Wednesday, Aug. 17 and the championship game will be played Thursday, Aug. 18.