SHORELINE - Walla Walla Pacific's 9-10 year-old Little League opened the state tournament with a 16-6, five-inning loss to Centralia here Saturday.
"It was a good pitching dueal for a little bit," said Pacific manager Nate Ferraro.
Pacific took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, which Centralia answered with three in the top of the second, building a 3-1 lead. Walla Walla came up with another in the bottom of the third, for a 3-2 ballgame.
Centralia posted four in the top of the fourth, and Walla Walla answered with four of its own, for a 7-6 game.
"We came back and made it a 7-6 ballgame, we were right in it - and the wheels fell of," Ferraro said.
Centralia posted nine runs in the top of the fifth, and Walla Walla couldn't answer.
"They started to hit the ball and we couldn't find the strike zone," he said. Shea Kimball and Jake Weigland pitched for Pacific in the fifth.
And Pacific missed chances.
"They'd put the ball in play, and there were balls we had a chance on, and we really didn't take it," he said. "They played error-free baseball, for the most part."
Those nine runs moved Centralia ahead by 10 runs and ended the game.
Ferraro said Pacific should have contended.
"We were good, if not better, but we couldn't finish the game in the way we're capable of," he said.
Pacific is off until Monday when play resumes in the losers bracket.
"We're going to have some fun with the kids (this morning) and have hitting practice tomorrow," Ferraro said. "We're going to keep their heads up and get ready for the game, and then go out and do what we came to do."
Centralia 030 49 - 16 12
Walla Walla 101 40 - 6 9
Trevino, Brown (4), Lopez (5) and Frias. Oliver, French (4), Kimball (5), Weigand (5) and Hamada.
HR - none.
Hits - Centralia: Brown 2, Wasson 2, Trevino, Jensen, Bonagosski 2, Thomas 2, Lopez, Due. Walla Walla: Hamada 3, Olson, Oliver, Weigand, Morris, Kimball, Jordan.