Few things help put away a tough loss like an easy win.
The South Whidbey Little League 9/10 All-Stars pummeled North Whidbey in a 10-0 game Monday. Winning the cross-island game also kept South Whidbey alive in the District 11 tournament with a re-match against Anacortes on Tuesday after The Record went to press.
“We’re not thinking about the loss any more,” said Aidyn Frederick, 11, who started as South Whidbey’s catcher.
South Whidbey surged early on pitching problems by North Whidbey. Thomas Simms opened the game taking a pitch to the leg, which evidently didn’t bother him much – he stole second and third bases on the passed balls. Ethan Petty was walked, then promptly stole second base; Thomas scored on the throw to second base.
After another walk and another throwing error, South Whidbey’s Brent Batchelor rocked a triple over the drawn-in right fielder that scored Ethan.
“I thought it was going to trail, then I thought it was going to drop,” Brent said. “I kind of lumbered, then I heard the coaches so I ran.”
In the first inning alone, South Whidbey tallied three walks and one triple against three strikeouts.
Turns out, those were more than enough runs for South Whidbey to beat its North End rival. The purple-and-gold squad from Oak Harbor was held scoreless despite some early chances.
North Whidbey started off hot at the plate with some small ball. The squad put its first batter on base with a bunt where the infield grass meets the dirt, just in front of home. South Whidbey’s starting pitcher Drew Fry rebounded with consecutive strikeouts, but not before North Whidbey’s runner advanced to second on a steal. North Whidbey again relied on small ball and had its fourth batter bunt, again between the pitcher and catcher for a single.
With runners on the corners and two outs, North Whidbey’s first batter was caught off the base and got in a pickle. As he tried to take home, Aidyn caught the ball and tagged him out through a fierce collision.
Aidyn followed that with a laser throw to second to throw out the runner for the second out of the second inning.
“It felt pretty spectacular,” Aidyn said.
“I knew he was out right when I threw it.”
South Whidbey’s success came from patient hitting and aggressive base running. The blue-and-white squad challenged North Whidbey to pitch well and make throws, which proved too much by the end of the 10-0 win.
To reach the state tournament, South Whidbey needed to win four more games, all on consecutive days.