Tom's, DQ advance to All-City title tilt

Dairy Queen takes eight innings but edges Sun Rental, 3-2, and Tom's Chevron handles Pepsi, 10-0, in the semifinals.



Tom's Chevron's Mitch Lesmeister is congratulated by his coach, Rod Fazzari, after Lesmeister hit the first of his two home runs during the Little League All-City semifinals Monday.

WALLA WALLA - Pacific Little League will keep the 2011 All-City Little League baseball title in the family as a result of Monday semifinal action at the Valley field.

Dairy Queen used its speed to score in the bottom of the eighth and eliminate Valley regular-season champion Sun Rental, 3-2.

Tom's Chevron turned on the offense to down Valley's Pepsi, 10-0.

Dairy Queen had to win to get a shot at the title, but the extra innings took a toll on its pitching eligibility for Wednesday's title game.

"We had to win this to get to the championship," DQ manager Craig Rouse said. "We burned a lot of our pitching. We're going to the championship and we're excited about it. We're going to come at them with everything we have."

Tom's jumped out early on Pepsi to earn a shot at defending its 2010 All-City Title, and owns three regular-season wins over Dairy Queen, but DQ won't be taken lightly.

"Dairy Queen has played us tough all year," Tom's manager Rod Fazzari said. "Anything can happen, but we feel really good with where we are at. I feel bad for Dairy Queen because when (Dexter) Aichele (who used up his pitching eligibility in the win over Sun Rental) is on the mound, they are as good as anybody in town."

The Pacific League foes square off for the title at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Valley field.

Dairy Queen 3, Sun Rental 2

Sun Rental scored in the first inning without a hit. Zach Leahy reached on an error and errant pitches got Leahy in position to score the game's first run on a bad pitch.

Sun Rental added another run in the third as Jake Shafer collected Sun's only hit of the game. Shafer delivered a two-out, ground-rule double to drive in Leahy, who had reached on a walk.

Sun Rental led 2-0 after three innings.

Leahy, the starting Sun Rental pitcher, and Silas Shumate, who came on in relief in the third, made the 2-0 lead stand up until the fifth. Leahy and Shumate blanked DQ on two hits - an infield single by Shea Kimball, and a third-inning single from Jacob Needham.

Alex Lemus got the DQ fifth started with a one-out single. Needham drew a walk, and a wild pitch sent Lemus to third. Luke Freedle legged out an infield hit and Lemus scored to cut the Sun Rental lead to 2-1.

In their last at-bat, Luke Jordan fought off several tough pitches and finally drove one just inside the foul line to right for a lead-off double.

Jordan stole third and scored when Jake Freedle's two-out grounder was mishandled, leaving it tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation.

Neither team scored in the seventh, and Sun Rental couldn't solve Aichele, who came on in relief in the fifth, in the top of the eighth.

Jordan again led off the DQ eighth and hit a seeing-eye grounder that found a hole and went for a single.

Jordan stole second and third. Jordan scooted home on an errant pitch and DQ had its ticket to Wednesday's title match.

"We've got some of the best speed in the league," Rouse said. "It showed today. The kid (Jordan) is tremendous. He's only 10, and by the time he's 12, he will be one of the dominant players in our league."

Aichele came on in the fifth with one out and slammed the door on Sun Rental.

Aichele walked the first batter he faced, Connor Lemma, then retired 10 in a row before Shumate worked a two-out walk in the eighth. But Aichele struck out the next hitter to end the game.

For his effort, Aichele recorded 11 outs in relief and got 10 of those outs via strikeout.

"Four years ago, I started (coaching) with Dexter (Aichele) and we finished 0-21," Rouse said. "He (Aichele) is something else. He is one of the top two or three pitchers in our area. Every year, we've progressed and now we're going to the city championship. I couldn't be more proud of (all of) them."

Tom's Chevron 10, Pepsi 0

Back-to-back triples by Isaiah Standard and Levi Haen keyed a two-run first inning for Tom's Chevron and Tom's never looked back.

Haen added a two-run single in the second, after an intentional walk to Standard, and Tom's jumped the lead to 4-0 after two.

"It's a game of momentum," Fazzari said. "To have Levi do that, after they took the bat out of Isaiah's hands, was a huge at bat for us."

Mitch Lesmeister blasted his first of two home runs to knock in two in a four-run Tom's third, and Pepsi could not recover.

Lesmeister pitched the complete game for Tom's, finishing with a four-hit shutout and struck out 15.

"Our kids were ready to play," Fazzari said. "Pepsi is a good hitting team, as they showed. I don't think Mitch (Lesmeister) has given up four hits all year, but Mitch was just overpowering on the mound."

Pepsi only had two base runners advance as far as second. Jacob Terry led off the Pepsi first with a liner to center and was left stranded at second.

Parker Likes led off the Pepsi fourth with a single and got as far as second before Lesmeister closed the inning.

Tristan Lomeli beat out an infield hit in the Pepsi second, and Terry picked up his second hit with a leg single in the Pepsi sixth.

But this night belonged to Tom's and Lesmeister.

Tom's scored in every inning except the fifth, when Tanner Druffel came on in relief for Pepsi and put up a Tom's goose egg.

Lesmeister's second homer, a towering shot over the center-field fence in the sixth, capped the scoring.

"He (Lesmeister) is one of those kids that can dominate a game," Fazzari said. "He showed that tonight."

Lesmeister got plenty of help. Tom's collected 13 hits to back Lesmeister's four-hitter. Haen went 4-for-4 with four RBI to join Lesmeister in the four-hit club.

Tom's, which is in its record 13th-straight All-City tournament, takes a perfect 23-0 mark into Wednesday's title match.

Dairy Queen 3, Sun Rental 2

Sun Rental 101 000 00 - 2 1 1

Dairy Queen 000 011 01 - 3 7 2

Leahy, S. Shumate (3), Shafer (5) and Lemma; Needham, Aichele (5) and Kimball.

Hits - SR: Shafer; DQ: Kimball, Needham 2, Lemus, Freedle, Jordan 2.

Tom's Chevron 10, Pepsi 0

Tom's Chevron 224 101 - 10 13 1

Pepsi 000 000 - 0 4 4

Lesmeister and Standard; Terry, Likes (1), Druffel (5) and Likes, Terry (1).

HR - TC: Lesmeister 2.

Hits - TC: Standard, Haen 4, Phipps, Lesmeister 4, Senne, Marsh, Brooks; Pepsi: Terry 2, Lomeli, Likes.


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