Despite the delay caused by an outbreak of whooping cough, the 13- to 14-year-old South Whidbey Little League All Star team finally got to play on June 12 and became District 11 champions by defeating the team from South Skagit by 9-1 in seven innings.
In the first inning, 10 South Whidbey players hit and scored five runs.
Jacob Olmstead threw three shutout innings that included two double plays.
Riley Newman hit 3-for-4 and Seth Eckert smashed a stand up double. Cody Haynes bounced a double over the fence.
“The game coasted through all seven innings with South Whidbey adding runs and hits in almost every inning,” coach Andy McRea said. “Blake Kozarek and Cameron Wildes came in to pitch in relief and continued to hold Skagit to only one run in four innings.
“This makes us the District 11 champs and we move into the run for a state berth and a chance to play in the World Series in California,” McRea said.
But on Tuesday at Skagit Valley College, the team ran into what McRea termed the finest pitcher in the state and lost 5-2 to Seattle’s Northwest All Stars.
Montana Johnson pitched three innings with a single hit and no earned runs. Newman and Daniel Sage finished up, allowing three earned runs.
“Basically, it was a pitcher’s duel. Their pitcher, Jeremy Cooper, threw 95, the maximum, and they were all fast balls,” McRea said.
Aaron Curfman walked, stole a base and scored on a throwing error from their catcher and then Spencer Kozarek picked up one in the fifth.
Newman didn’t have his best day, but still pitched two innings and played shortstop.
“They had a great pitcher who took it to us in the first half,” Newman said. “In the last two innings after he left, we had chances but couldn’t cash in.”
Newman’s best moment came in the fourth inning.
“There was a solid hit to third; I caught it backhanded and threw fast to first for the out,” he said.
McRea was proud of the team.
“They played good ball, ran the bases well, but just couldn’t get the hitting game going,” he said.
Twelve teams from all over the state are trying to take the top spot to earn a trip to Southern California for the Western Regionals later this month — South Whidbey played Friday, past The Record’s press deadline.
The 2008 Little League 13/14 All Stars are: Blake Kozarek, Jacob Olmstead, Cameron Wildes, Riley Newman. Daniel Sage,
Cody Haynes Seth Eckert, Patrick Monell, Aaron Curfman, Montana Johnson, Spencer Kozarek and Ammon Christensen.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.