VANCOUVER, Wash — Walla Walla Pacific blinked first here in opening-round action at the Washington State 11-12 Little League state championship.
Walla Walla and Seattle’s Queen Anne battled through five innings in a scoreless tie before the Seattleites pushed across the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth to advance in winner’s bracket play with the 1-0 win.
Pacific drops into a loser-out battle Monday at 4:30 p.m. against an opponent to be determined during today’s action.
“It was a pitcher’s dual,” Pacific manager Rob Watilo said. “Their first guy was really good. He had a great curve. We hit .384 at district, so it was unusual for us (not to hit). We were not us (due to) his pitching and maybe a little nerves.”
Pacific starting pitcher Austin Olson matched Queen Anne pitch-for-pitch through three scoreless innings. Olson recorded eight of his nine outs by strikeout.
Neither team had any offensive answers as both teams combined for only five hits — three by Pacific and two by Queen Anne — heading to the sixth inning.
Pacific mounted its best threat in the top of the sixth. Kyler Barnett reached on a passed ball strike out and eventually reached third on Nate Treadway’s ground out. Queen Anne chose to walk Austin Olson and Ryan Watilo to load the bases with two outs. Taylor Hamada’s grounder was fielded by the Queen Anne second baseman for the third out and Pacific was turned away.
“We had the sacks loaded,” manager Watilo said. “Hamada just missed getting a hit to bring in a run.”
Queen Anne bunched three hits for the first time in the game to win it in the sixth. A single, double, and a run-scoring single gave Queen Anne the 1-0 win.
Kyren Morris had two hits and Reagan Bond collected the other Pacific hit as Pacific was held to only those three hits.
“It was a great game,” manager Watilo said. “We were in the game the whole time. (But) we’re still playing baseball (despite the loss).”
Queen Anne 1, Walla Walla Pacific 0
Pacific 000 000 — 0 3 2
Queen Anne 000 001 — 1 5 0
Olson, Watilo (4), Norris (6) and Hamada; Carroll, Peterson, Mulsler-Wite and Collins.
Hits — Pacific: Kyren Morris 2, Reagan Bond; QA: not available.