UPDATED 2:29 P.M.: Walla Walla Valley Little League lost to Mercer Island 11-1. Valley is out of the tournament. Mercer Island will play the loser of today's South Kitsap-Mill Creek game in a semi-final game on Friday at 5.
More details in tomorrow's Union-Bulletin and online.
WALLA WALLA - Agony and ecstasy are a part of baseball as Walla Walla Valley experienced in the final inning of its elimination battle here in Washington State Majors Little League baseball action Wednesday at the Valley complex.
Woodinville, trailing 4-2, was down to its last strike with the tying run at second base. Chris Wilson hit a routine grounder toward Valley second baseman Dalton James. James had it wrapped up, but the ball hit the lip on the infield grass. James had no chance to recover, and the ball scooted into the outfield as Woodinville tied the game at 4-4.
"I said, ‘You've got five seconds to get over it,'" Valley manager Sam Worth said to his team. "‘You've got to bat.' These guys just don't mope around."
With one out in the home sixth, James worked a walk and Valley took advantage of Woodinville control issues. Carter Davis and Parker Likes were hit by pitches to load the bases.
With Connor Lemma at the plate, Woodinville uncorked an errant pitch and James slid in as Valley won, 5-4.
Valley played Mercer Island, a 3-2 winner over Kent on Wednesday, today at 11 a.m. in another elimination battle.
"That (bad hop) was tough on our second baseman," Worth said. "He wants to win and play well doing it. It wasn't on him (James). He (comes back) and scores the winning run."
Woodinville scored on a Wilson RBI single in the first and a Wilson ground out in the third to lead 2-0 with Valley batting in the third.
"Credit to their pitcher (Mason Osgood), he had us off balance," Worth said. "He was a crafty little guy."
Valley responded as Davis walked and Likes and Lemma followed with singles as Davis scored on an errant relay from the Woodinville outfield. Diego Cardenas' grounder was mishandled to score Lemma, and when it was bobbled in short-right field, Turner Edwards, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored the go-ahead run for a 3-2 Valley lead.
Davis hit a solo home run on an 0-2 pitch to stretch the lead to 4-2 in the home fourth.
"We had to quit swinging at balls out of the strike zone," Worth said. "We had to be patient and see if he (Osgood) could focus when we were wagging the bat (fake bunts). We (started) to hit the ball hard and Carter had a big home run."
The other story was Cody Worden's work on the mound. Worden came on in relief in the third and blanked Woodinville until the bad-hop sixth-inning single, and stuffed out a bases-loaded, one-out Woodinville rally in the fifth.
Woodinville, trailing 4-2, loaded the bases behind two walks and a Wilson single. Worden enticed a grounder to third baseman Isaiah Lomeli, who fired home to catcher Davis. Davis threw to first baseman Edwards to complete the double play and keep the 4-2 lead.
"Game ball to Cody Worden," Worth said. "He was awesome. They knew (what to do on the double play), Isaiah going home, Carter going to first and not messing around with the guy going to third. They are very tuned in baseball kids.
"We're having fun," Worth said. "Mercer Island is a tough team. We've got pitching a little bit in order. We'll see how we do."
Walla Walla Valley 5, Woodinville 4
Woodinville 101 002 - 4 8 3
Valley 003 101 - 5 7 3
Osgood, Welter (5) and Owens; Likes, Edwards (2), Worden (3) and Lemma, Davis (4).
HR - WW: Davis.
Hits - Wood: Hendrix, Wilson 3, Mosher, Owens, Osgood, Bell. WW: Camacho, Kemp, Worden, Likes, Lemma 2, Davis.
Washington State Major Little League Tournament
at Walla Walla Valley
Mercer Island 3, Kent 2
WW Valley 5, Woodinville 4
Mercer Island vs. WW Valley, 11 a.m.
South Kitsap West vs. Mill Creek, 4 p.m.
Loser of South Kitsap West/Mill Creek vs. Mercer Island/WW Valley winner, 5 p.m.