WALLA WALLA - The battle for state berths began here Saturday at the Pacific Little League complex in District baseball play.
Walla Walla Pacific and Walla Walla Valley are battling each other for one 10-11 state berth. Pacific moved within one win of the state berth with an 11-2 win Saturday.
In 9-10 All-Stars, Pacific overcame a 2-0 deficit and went on to down Valley 21-8.
The 11-12 all-star game between Valley and Pacific was postponed by rain.
Today's schedule at Pacific's ballfield has Pacific meeting Asotin County in the 9-10 winner's bracket at noon. Valley and Pacific square off at 2 p.m. in 10-11 action with Valley needing a win to force a deciding game Monday.
The Pacific and Valley 11-12 battle has tentatively been re-scheduled for 4 p.m.
10-11 Division: Pacific 11, Valley 2
Pacific's Austin Olson blasted a three-run home run in the top of the first, and Valley could not recover, as Pacific posted an 11-2 win.
"Right now, he (Olson) has been hitting the ball well (It was his fourth home run of the postseason, including the all-city playoffs)," Pacific manager Nathan Ferraro said. "He didn't pop it up. It was a well-hit ball."
A Nathan Treadway single and Kyren Morris' RBI double sparked a three-run Pacific second to up the lead to 6-0.
Taylor Mastin's bases loaded single drove in Valley's first run in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to 6-1.
Pacific answered with a four spot in the fourth. Morris and Olson started the rally with back-to-back singles, and Kyler Barnett capped the outbreak with a single as Pacific increased the lead to 10-1.
Olson doubled and Treadway doubled Olson home in the Pacific fifth to tack on one more.
Pacific got three hits each from Olson and Treadway, two hits each from Taylor Hamada and Morris, in its 12-hit attack.
"We made a lot of decent contact today," Ferraro said. "It made (Valley's) pitchers think a little more as we were squaring the ball up and hitting it hard."
Valley forced the game to regulation as Finn Michener opened the home fifth with a single. Two outs later, Seth Ahrens drilled a RBI single just inside the first base line and Valley narrowed the gap to 11-2.
Reagan Bond came on in relief for Pacific and worked a perfect sixth to secure the victory.
"Our pitching is alright for tomorrow (today)," Ferraro said. "If we swing it like we did today, we'll be setting pretty. (But) you still have to come out and play baseball."
9-10 Division: Pacific 21, Valley 8
Valley's Jacob Wallace blanked Pacific on one hit through 2 2/3 innings and had a 2-0 lead with Pacific's Anthony Senne hitting.
Senne reached on an error and Pacific took advantage. Mat McKenzie doubled home two and Becker Saltmarsh followed with a two-run bomb over the left center fence and Pacific grabbed a 4-2 lead and went on to post a 21-8 win.
"We were pretty tight (to start the game)," Pacific manager Steve Barker said. "When Saltmarsh hit the home run, that broke open the dam."
The Pacific spark started on the mound when Kristopher Serrano came on in relief with the bases loaded and one out in the Valley second. Serrano gave up a run-scoring walk to Bobby Holtzinger sandwiched between two strike outs and Pacific escaped without further damage. Serrano struck out six over the next two innings and gave Pacific's offense time to go to work.
"I was trying to find someone who was not nervous," Barker said of sending Serrano to the mound. "He was ice cold. He pitched well."
A seven-hit Pacific explosion led to 10 fifth inning runs. McKenzie's two-run triple highlighted the up rising. Valley answered with its own six-run rally in the home fifth. A Wallace single, a Jacob Rose single, and a Mike Cornia two-run double keyed the rally.
The 15-hit Pacific attack proved too much and Valley drops into a loser-out contest Monday. McKenzie's four hits and seven RBI led Pacific.
"This is a really good group of kids," Barker said. "They come to play."
10-11 All-Stars: Pacific 11, Valley 2
Pacific 330 410 - 11 12 0
Valley 010 010 - 2 4 4
Olson, Treadway (2), Watilo (5), Bond (6) and Hamada; Peterson, Tiner (2), Warinner (3), Handcox (4) and Ahrens, Swant (4).
HR - WWP: Olson.
Hits - WWP: Hamada 2, Olson 3, Treadway 3, Morris 2, Barnett, Swanson; WWV: Mastin, Warinner, Michener, Ahrens.
9-10 All-Stars: Pacific 21, Valley 8
Pacific 004 0(10)7 - 21 15 0
Valley 110 060 - 8 4 2
Ashbeck, Senne (2), Serrano (2), McKenzie (5) and McKenzie, Senne (4); Wallace, Jones (5), Rose (5), McAlvey (5), Cornia (6), Shumate (6) and Holtzinger.
HR - WWP: Saltmarsh.
Hits - WWP: McKenzie 4, Saltmarsh 3, Ashbeck 2, Serrano, VanSlyke 2, Senne 2, Zehner; WWV: McAlvey, Wallace, Rose, Cornia.