GIG HARBOR, Wash. — Pacific’s Anthony Senne couldn’t get it done on the mound Saturday at the 2013 Washington Little League 10-11 state tournament, but he certainly got it done in the batter’s box.
Senne started the opening-round game against Greater Richland on the mound but lasted just an out into the second inning before being replaced after giving up two hits and beaning a batter. But he wasn’t done for the day, as he belted a pair of home runs to bat in four runs and lead Pacific to a come-from-behind 7-4 victory at state.
“Anthony was huge at the plate today,” Pacific coach Nate Ferraro said. “The two bombs he hit were hit very well. They were gone when they left the bat.”
Dylan Ashbeck also homered in the win, leaving the yard as part of Walla Walla’s game-winning six-run rally in the fifth inning.
“Dylan’s home run was the same, once he hit it, I knew it was gone,” Ferraro said. “These kids deserve this win, against a very, very good team.”
The Pacific 11s are the first age group of the three Pacific sent to win a game at the state tournament. The win keeps Pacific in the winners bracket, where it will face Rainier today at 2 p.m.
Richland opened scoring with four runs in the second inning.
Senne gave up the aforementioned two hits and pegged a third batter to load the bases before being replaced by Kristopher Serrano with one out gone. Serrano gave up a pair of hits and committed a throwing error to allow four runs across, but he went on to complete the game and allowed just one more hit for the remainder of his outing.
Senne got a little redemption in the bottom of the third, sending hist first blast, a solo home run, to dead center to get Pacific on the board.
Down 4-1 after a scoreless fourth, Walla Walla finally found a pitcher it could hit off of in the bottom of the fifth after scoring just once on Richland starter Sam Jones, who struck out nine and walked two in four innings. Richland reliever Jordan Gregory hit the first batter he saw and walked the next to set the plate for Senne, who sent his second homer of the day over left-center wall to knot the game at 4.
Pacific wasn’t done, however, as Gregory issued walks to both Hunter Polley and Matthew Mackenzie. Polley gave Walla Walla the lead, 5-4, as he stole third base on a passed ball and came home when the catcher threw the ball away while gunning for the pickoff.
Polley’s heroics turned out not to be necessary, however, as Ashbeck followed with the second home run of the inning, cranking one over the right-center field wall to put Pacific up 7-4.
Richland grounded out three times in the sixth to give Walla Walla the win.
“The kids played great,” Ferraro said. “We started slow, but for Richland, Sam Jones was very good. He threw with good velocity and then was able to put his curveball wherever he wanted it. After they pulled Jones at the end of four innings, we started to gain momentum.
“We became selective and drew walks. When our kids got good pitches to hit they made them count. Our kids have no quit in them.”
Walla Walla Pacific 7, Greater Richland 4
Richland 040 000 — 4 5 3
Walla Walla 001 06X — 7 5 1
Jones, Gregory (5), Higgins (5) and catcher name not available. Senne, Serrano (2) and Ashbeck, Senne (3).
HR — WW: Senne 2, Ashbeck.
Hits — WW: Senne 2, Ashbeck 2, Mckenzie; Rich: Jones, Gregory, Higgins.