West Seattle routs Renton in All Stars tournament; 20-2 win demonstrates dominance

By Ed Shepherd
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

Night and day.

Looked like two different teams out there for West Seattle between Sunday's and Tuesday's game, as it played in it's second game of the Little League District 7 All-Stars 9-10 Tournament, now having to go through the loser's bracket after having lost Saturday to Seattle Central in a game not close, but this game Tuesday was close and, more importantly, a win, 20-2 over Renton at Pac West Fields.

"Playing at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m. is the biggest difference in the world for 9 and 10 year olds," said Isaiah Brent, West Seattle's manager.

The first game of the tourney against Seattle Central was played at 9 a.m. and errors early in the game cost West Seattle some runs and things just went from bad to worse there in a 12-5 loss. But this game against Renton started at 6 p.m. and West Seattle just looked more ready than their game before and it showed in it's top of the first at-bats.

Nolan Whorton led off for West Seattle with a single to left field before stealing second base and third base. Then, Matt Acccaregui's single to right field brought in Whorton and Will Godwin, who hit the ball hard and high to right field but was ruled an error by the scorekeeper. Still, it was a great start as West Seattle led, 2-0, after the first inning.

Accaregui got some praise from Brent.

"I've been waiting for him," said Brent. "He has the ability to smash the ball. He had a hit in the game that we didn't hit very well so I stuck him in the No. 4 hole in the batting order."

After that offense in the first, West Seattle pitcher James Triol threw 10 pitches and, three up, three down, and, he was out of the Renton first.

"James is a true warrior," said Brent. "He pitched great. I can always count on him. And he stayed under 35 pitches in three shutout innings. That's as beautiful as it gets for a manager."

That means Brent did not have to use extra pitchers in this game so he can throw more pitchers with fresh arms in the next game and the next game and the next game and the next game, as, West Seattle, from getting sent into the loser's bracket after its first game must play Thursday, Friday, and then beat the winner's bracket team twice on Saturday. Four games in all they must win if they want to go on to the state tournament for 9-10 that starts in mid-July.

But, continuing the offensive turnaround for West Seattle, it was just each inning becoming more productive than the last as West Seattle scored four runs in the top of the second inning on four hits. Jaxton Helmstetler led off with a single to left field. Then, Triol drew a walk. Then, Whorton's RBI double made him 2-for-2 for the day and also brought in Triol and Helmstetler, so it was 4-0. Then, Maddox Brent smashed the ball past the left fielder and that scored Whorton, 5-0. Then Will Godwin got in on the act with a RBI single and it was 6-0.

West Seattle just added to its total in its top half of the third as Jack Peterson and Helmstetler hit the ball high and hard to center field and it was not caught so both reached base. Then Triol walked and Whorton hit into a fielder's choice but it was a sacrifice when Peterson scored from third base to make it 7-0. Maddox Brent crushed the ball again, this time to the fence in center field as his 3-RBI double made it a 10-0 game. Then Godwin's next at-bat was a deep ball to center field, catchable, but not caught, hitting the Renton outfielder's glove and bouncing off and another run crossed the plate to make it 11-0. Accaregui hit an RBI single to make it 12-0 in the West Seattle third and they quit for that time that inning with scoring eight more runs in the its top of the fourth to really put this one away.

Triol liked what he saw from his teammates in this game, backing his pitching.

"Matt Accaregui helped me out and Jaxton Helmstetler," said Triol. "And Will Godwin in the outfield, he didn't let balls get by him. Jaxton fielding was good at shortstop and Noel Whorton at second base. And, really just the whole team did good."

Just a different mood in the dugout from the start of this game compared to the loss to Seattle Central in the opener?
"Our bats were on fire," said Triol. "We were having fun in the dugout. It was a light mood. We just played a good game, hitting and everything. I felt a lot more energized than the 9 a.m. game."

And your pitching?
"If we lost, we were out," said Triol. "It felt good to get the win for the team."
So, four games in the next four days, it's a task of tough taking.

"It's doable," said manager Brent. "But we have to really work."

The next game for West Seattle in the All Stars Tournament is a loser-out game on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Pac West Fields.

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