West Seattle swamps Seattle in tournament game
By Ed Shepherd
A lot of hits, some home runs and scoreless pitching are a big three of do's in baseball for success.
West Seattle did all three against Seattle Central en route to a 21-0, 10-run-rule shortened four inning Little League All Stars Tournament game for the Majors division of District 7 at Valley Ridge Sunday.
Still, despite winning by a huge score, not to mention a 10-0 win over Pac West to open districts before that, West Seattle's manager, Jason Woodward, spoke about things that still need to be done.
"The kids hit the ball good today," said Woodward. "We still have a lot to improve upon."
Surely, there's something to point out, however, the way West Seattle played this game "nothing" is the only thing that points in that direction. West Seattle just didn't do much wrong.
Flawless pitching from Jack Summers, Ulee Hammer, Walker Nelson and Max Debiec, throwing 15, 16, 13, 8, pitches, respectively, for West Seattle made for a tough night hitting the ball at all for Seattle Central. And, Seattle Central hit the ball a few times, but never hit the ball for an official hit in the game.
Meanwhile, in this shortened game, West Seattle still belted out 14 hits, starting with Sullivan's blast over the right field fence in the to of the first inning that made it 1-0.
"That's his first one," said Woodward of Jackson's blast. "He a good little ball player. He's got a good swing."
West Seattle added to that lead after Henry Muench singled, Kenji Suzuki walked, and Hammer hit an RBI single, scoring Muench to make it a 2-0 West Seattle lead. Hammer stole second base and Suzuki third. Then, Paul Johnson's sacrifice fly deep to left field scored Suzuki to make it 3-0. Then, Max Debiec changed the score some more, repeating what Sullivan did with a home run, but Debiec smashed the ball over the left field fence for his two-run smash to make it 5-0.
In the West Seattle top of the second inning, Sullivan led off with a double. The next batter, Henry Muench, added to the home run tally with another blast, with his ball going where Sullivan and Debiec did not. Muench and everyone else in the stands and dugouts watched his good swing send the ball up over the fence in the deepest part of the ballpark, center field, making it 7-0.
The score just ballooned from there as in the top of the third inning West Seattle added five more runs. Johnson reached base by error before Isaac Patcher's RBI single added another run. And then Konrad Gerhardt singled before Sullivan collected another RBI, the first being hitting himself in with a home run, which accounts for a RBI in the books, for those keeping score. Then Muench continued his damage with a 2-RBI triple and Suzuki did more damage with his bat, too, for an RBI and the score was 12-0 West Seattle after three innings completed.
In the West Seattle top of four, it's last at-bats in this game, Walker started off reaching base on a left field fielding error. Will Holmes drew a walk. Johnson drew a walk. Then, Patcher collected an RBI on a sacrifice. Debiec collected an RBI single then before Justin Murphy was hit by a pitch as was Gerhardt. That set the table for Sullivan, who made it a 4-for-4 hitting day at the plate, with a 2-RBI single. Woodward followed with an RBI single. Suzuki, too, got in on the action with an RBI triple. And, capping off the four home run day for West Seattle's players was Ulee Hammer, smacking the ball over the fence in right-center field. When all the smoke cleared from all its offense this inning, West Seattle led, 21-0.
Sullivan didn't have much to do where he played position-wise in this game, looking at things from the defensive side of things, as Sullivan played left field and center field in this game.
"I got one hit to me in left field and none in center," said Sullivan.
This game was lopsided, with not a whole lot of hits to the infield either. It included some down time, too, where coaches and managers figured out some position changes at the scorer's area behind the fenced backstop area. And West Seattle's players began to play the game, "pepper," which is like "hot potato" but with a baseball. And, they used their mitts' pocket area to hit the ball into the air as it comes to them in a circle.
But, what Woodward liked to talk about, too, after the game was the way Seattle Central held their heads after the game--high.
"They had positive kids," said Woodward. "They weren't down looking and getting on each other in the game. They just kept playing, doing their best. If I was their coach, I would be proud of that."
In this game and the 10-0 win over Pac West, Woodward stated that the players are having smart at-bats, are patient at the plate, taking what the pitcher was giving, so to speak.
"Yesterday and today, we were not pressing at the plate," he said. "Our guys were not trying to do too much with the ball."
So, 10-0 win, 21-0 win, what's next?
"31-0," said Gerhardt, jokingly, listening in to the question directed at Sullivan.
"I hope not," said Sullivan. "I want to play a closer game. But I still want to come out on top."
Woodward was commented on, too, when asked by Sullivan.
"He's a good coach," Sullivan said.
Jon Muench and Stan Debiec coach along side Woodward.
Woodward manages the team, including being the team's third base coach, too.
"He knows how to win games," said Sullivan.
West Seattle next plays on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the winner's bracket final. If they win that one over Rainier, who beat South Highline National, 7-3, in a game played at the same time as West Seattle's against Seattle Central but on an opposite field Sunday, any team that hopes to go on to the Little League All Stars Majors State Tournament will have to beat West Seattle twice in championship action.