Gerardo Bolong
Pre-game prep helped the West Seattle Majors defeat Spokane in tournament play.

Spokane South LL falls to West Seattle Majors

By Gerardo Bolong

Late inning hitting and pitching heroics hoisted District 7 West Seattle to a comeback 5-3 loser-out triumph against District 13 Spokane South on Wed., July 15 at the 2014 Little League Majors ages 11-12 state All-Star baseball tournament hosted by District 7 and held at the Bar-S Playfields near Alki.

The never-quit Westsiders trailed 3-1 after four complete innings before staging their second dramatic comeback in two nights of action.

Igniting the West Seattle charge was Ulee Hammer who walked with one out. Kenji Suzuki and Henry Muench followed with back to back singles to load the bases. One strike out later, Max Debiec singled to right center field to plate two runs. On the outfielder's overthrow to the catcher at home, an alert Muench dashed home to send West Seattle ahead at 4-3.

Diebec walked to send home one more run in the sixth inning.

"It felt good to help the team," he said.

Kenji Suzuki ,who went to the hill and stopped the Spokane South rally after two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning escaped a bases loaded fifth inning threat by District 13 with a called third strike on an outside corner curve ball, struck out the Spokane South side in the sixth inning to preserve the win and send West Seattle to a Thursday matchup against District 1 Pacific as only four teams remained eligible to win the state championship.

"I was kind of nervous," said Suzuki. "I was confident about my pitching and about our defense."
Defensively, a key play in the fifth inning kept Spokane South from building a big inning.
Following a lead off walk by Spokane South, the next batter struck out. Jacob Bogdanoff launched a base hit to center field from where outfielder Jackson Sullivan relayed his throw to shortstop Muench who threw a strike to third base to nail the sliding runner. A single and a walk then loaded the bases, setting up Suzuki's big strike out to end the inning.

West Seattle started slowly, leaving the bases loaded in the first inning after the first three batters reached base.

Stranding a runner on third base in the second inning, the Westsiders then fell behind 1-0 by way of a Spokane South bottom of the second inning score.
In the top of the third inning, Suzuki led off with a single before working his way up the base paths on a Muench single and an ensuing wild pitch. A fielder's choice ground ball from Debiec knotted the duel at 1-1 ahead of the late innings drama that sent District 7 into the Thursday game.

"I was telling our players that baseball is about when you hit (in reference to the early runners left on base)," said West Seattle manager Jason Woodward. "You can't let them off the hook. Our pitchers were dynamite and hitting their spots."

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