Pacific 11-12s still in tourney with victory

The Pacific 11-12s defeat Asotin County, 12-2, while the Valley 9-10s beat Pacific, 7-3, to set up a rematch in the title game.

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Walla Walla Valley's Jackson Shumate dusts Walla Walla Pacific catcher Anthony Senne as he slides under the tag for the 2nd inning run to give his team a 6-2 lead Tuesday night at the Pacific Little League Fields. The win sets up a rematch for the two teams in the 9/10 championship game on Thursday.

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Overcoming the obstacle of his downed bat as he heads for 1st base, Walla Walla Valley's River Sanders keeps a close eye on his 3rd inning bunt. The bunt bounced foul but Walla Walla Valley overcame the obstacle of Walla Walla Pacific Tuesday night with a 7-3 win. With the win, Walla Walla Valley and Walla Walla Pacific will play for the 9/10 championship on Thursday.

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Walla Walla Pacific's Dylan Ashbeck holds his glove and the ball up in disbelief as Walla Walla Valley's Jared McAlvey goes safe at 2nd base in the 3rd inning. The Valley 9/10 year olds pulled off the shocker with a 7-3 win Tuesday night at the Pacific Little League Fields to set up a rematch with Walla Walla Pacific in the championship game on Thursday night.

WALLA WALLA - The preliminaries are over here at the District 5 Little League baseball tournament after Tuesday's games at the Pacific Complex.

Walla Walla Pacific survived an 11-12 elimination battle and defeated Asotin County 12-2. In 9-10 action, Pacific needed a win to claim the state ticket, but Valley avoided elimination with a 7-3 win.

Valley meets Pacific again Thursday in 9-10 play at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to the 9-10 state tournament.

Valley can claim the ticket to the other end of town for the state 11-12 tournament with a win over Pacific Thursday at 8 p.m., but a Pacific win will force a winner-take-all Friday game.

11-12 All-Stars: Pacific 12, Asotin County 2

Pacific got a little bit of everything - pitching, defense, hitting - to stay alive and defeat Asotin 12-2.

"The three kids that pitched tonight - Kobe (Morris), Matt (Baumgart), and Devon (Oliver) - were spot on," Pacific manager John Knowles said. "The defense came to play. The guys that we count on to hit, the top of the lineup, got hits for us."

Levi Haen doubled in the first Pacific run and scored on an errant pitch to stake Pacific to a 2-0 lead. Asotin fought back in the home first to tie on run-scoring singles by Nate Savolainen and Hogan Heytvelt, but it could have been worse.

Pacific second baseman Haen made a diving stop in shallow right field and got the second out, and catcher Ben Ortiz blocked a wild pitch to keep Asotin's Savolainen stranded at third base. Pacific escaped with a 2-2 tie.

"We ask them to do that," manager Knowles said of his defense. "They are all capable and we got to see some of that tonight."

The Pacific hitting took over in the second. Baumgart led off with a single. Pacific's lead off hitter, Mason Knowles, singled in a run. Connor Hoeft followed with a two-run single, and Haen drove in his second run of the game with a single and Pacific took control with a 7-2 lead after two.

"That (being tied or down early) hasn't been uncommon for this group," manager Knowles said. "They start a little bit slow, but you saw what happened there in the second. They did a good job."

Mason Knowles knocked in a third-inning run as did Oliver, and Hoeft culminated the five-run Pacific third with a two-run line-drive home run to right as Pacific stretched the lead to 12-2.

On the hill, Morris, Baumgart, and Oliver (who had a perfect fourth) limited Asotin to only four hits in pitching Pacific into a Thursday rematch with Valley (a 12-9 winner in the first round).

"We want to be full strength (pitching-wise) for Thursday and Friday (if needed) and you saw that play out tonight," manager Knowles said. "We will have everybody available. Valley is a very good team and we're going to have to play spot on baseball, but these kids can do it. This is what we wanted tonight, and we're going to go in Thursday full strength and hopefully give them a good game."

9-10 All-Stars: Valley 7, Pacific 3

It starts with pitching, and Valley sent Logan Jones to the mound to avenge a 21-8 loss to Pacific in the first round and to force a Thursday game for the district title and a state ticket.

The southpaw responded as Jones pitched Valley into the fifth inning, giving up three runs on two hits, before giving way to Jacob Rose and leaving with a 7-3 lead. Rose blanked Pacific the rest of the way to finish the deal.

"He (Jones) focused on getting the ball down and did that beautifully today," Valley manager Rob Holtzinger said. "He competed hard. Logan and Jacob (Rose) were outstanding."

Pacific got a two-out, two-run single from Kris Serrano to grab a 2-0 lead, but Valley got the runs back in the home first. Bobby Holtzinger tripled in River Sanders who walked and Holtzinger scored on an errant pitch to tie it at 2-2 after one.

Jones blanked Pacific in the second and Mike Cornia doubled to lead off the Valley second. Levi Gies doubled home Cornia and Valley had the lead for good. Jackson Shumate added a run-scoring single and Holtzinger capped the four-run Valley second by driving in his second run of the game with a single. Valley led 6-2 after two.

Matt McKenzie got one back in the Pacific third with a solo home run, but Valley struck back. Grady Lemma singled home Jared McAlvey, who was hit by a pitch and stole second to get into scoring position.

Jones, Rose, and an errorless Valley defense did the rest. Rose, in relief, retired the last five Pacific hitters he faced to get Valley a shot at the district title.

"We've been talking about, ‘Do we want to make this thing last one more day?'" manager Holtzinger said. "The kids have rallied around that. We did some real good things today. Our infield was the best its been the whole tournament. We had guys come off the bench and get huge hits. We have to keep level headed and just keep going."

11-12 All-Stars: Pacific 12, Asotin County 2

Pacific 255 0 - 12 8 0

Asotin Co. 200 0 - 2 4 6

Morris, Baumgart (3), Oliver (4) and Ortiz, Baumgart (4); Heytvelt, Wolf (4) and Savolainen.

HR - WWP: Hoeft.

Hits - WWP: Haen 2, Knowles 2, Hoeft 2, Baumgart, Oliver; Asotin: Savolainen 2, Heytvelt 2.

9-10 All-Stars: Valley 7, Pacific 3

Pacific 201 000 - 3 3 1

Valley 241 00X - 7 7 1

McKenzie, Ashbeck (4), Saltmarsh (5) and Senne; Jones, Rose (5) and Terry, Holtzinger (3).

HR - WWP: McKenzie.

Hits - WWP: Serrano, McKenzie 2; WWV: Holtzinger 2, Cornia, Gies, Shumate, Lemma, Terry.

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