Pac West tops West Seattle for 10-11 title
By Gerardo Bolong
Superb pitching owned the night for Pac West in a 4-2 if-necessary championship game victory at the 2014 Washington District VII Little League 10-11 age All Star tournament held at the Pac West complex in Sea Tac. This completed a comeback through the loser-out bracket.
"We had great pitching," Pac West manager Mitch Stone said. "We were confident all day long."
Following two complete scoreless innings, which included a bases loaded scenario for Pac West in the second inning, the Pac West stars broke through in the third inning. From his leadoff spot, Tyler Gilpatrick legged out an infield single on a hit deep into the shortstop area. Teammate Ryder Leahy then reached first on a fielder's choice ground out that was misplayed. One out later, Zeek Pastana singled to right field. The throw home sailed over the catcher's head, allowing a run to score.
Pac West kept the pressure on with a fourth inning scoring surge. River Garza opened the frame by singling through the left side. A beautifully laid down bunt in front of home plate by Emma Peterson turned into an infield single as PW posted runners on second and third. An infield error loaded the bases for Gilpatrick to hammer home two runs on his ensuing single to left field.
In the fifth inning, Hunter Hillyard stroked a one-out single for Pac West and later advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Garza laced an RBI single that stretched the lead to 4-0.
West Seattle scored an unearned run in the bottom of the frame to ruin the shutout and raise its hopes. Reese McAllister opened up by drawing a base on balls before running to second base on a wild pitch. Two strikeouts later, an infield fielding error allowed WS to tally a run.
Left hander Garza pitched a gem of a game for Pac West, allowing only the unearned run on one hit while carving out the West Siders to the tune of 12 strikeouts through five full innings before being forced to retire from the mound after throwing 87 pitches.
"I used fastballs and remembered to follow through completely on my pitching motion," he said.
West Seattle took advantage of the Pac West relief pitcher's control problems and some fielding issues to force some late drama in the bottom of the sixth inning. Gabe Palmer singled and moved up one base on an outfield error. Peter Nelson walked before JP Dufour loaded the bases on a fielder's choice ground out that was misplayed. McAllister worked the count to 2-0 and right hander Michael Snyder was summoned to put the fire out. After McAllister walked to make the score 4-2, Snyder reached back and earned a swinging strikeout before catching the next two batters looking at third strikes to hold the fort for the precious save that sent Pac West into the state tournament for a 9 a.m. game on Sat., July 19, at Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis.
Despite furiously battling in the championship round, West Seattle was unable to summon up enough fire power against solid Pac West mound mastery.
"I was thankful that I could throw strikes," Snyder said. "I didn't want to let the team down. It was my four-seam fastball that I used."
Players for Pac West include Brandon Corner, River Garza, Tyler Gilpatrick, Alex Lucero, Jaden Macias, Zeke Pastana, Michael Snyder, Max Volle, Alex Whitman, Jacob Sagmoen, Hunter Hillyard, Ryder Leahy and Emma Peterson.
Manager Mitch Stone is assisted by coaches Jon Moormeier and Sam Whitman. Stone also serves as league president. Tournament director was Shawna Williams.