It spanned two days and took nearly twice as many innings as a normal game, but the South Whidbey 11-12 baseball team prevailed with a 15-12 win in 11 innings over host Sedro-Woolley in the District 11 Major Little League Tournament opener.
The game began Tuesday, June 26, and was suspended because of darkness after eight innings with the score tied at 10; it was completed Wednesday.
Next up is a match with Burlington-Edison at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 28, in Sedro-Woolley. The winner of that game will advance to the championship round and will have to lose two straight to the survivor of the losers’ bracket not to win the tournament title.
The South Whidbey offense was humming early, then hit a sour note.
South Whidbey scored four times in the top of the second inning and five times in the third to go up 9-3.
From that point, eight men went down in order and South Whidbey didn’t score again until the sixth inning. While South Whidbey was struggling on offense, Sedro-Woolley picked up the pace, scoring twice in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
In South Whidbey’s four-run second inning, Liam Petty ripped a triple, Myles Lind doubled and Cole Thorsen and Malachi Pierson singled to lead the rally.
After Sedro-Woolley tallied three times in the bottom of the second, South Whidbey countered by scoring five runs in the third. Thorsen and Mathias Pierson each rapped RBI doubles, while Elisha Dixon added a single and Petty, Maddox Smith-Heacox and Lind walked.
That was it for the offense until Dixon and Grady Davis recorded back-to-back walks with one out in the top of the sixth. After an out, Thorsen singled in Dixon to put South Whidbey up 10-8.
Sedro-Woolley smacked a two-run, two-out single in the bottom of the sixth to send the game to extra innings.
Davis took over on the mound and “did a great job for the team, keeping Sedro’s plate appearances to Ks and minimal hits” over the final few innings, according to coach James Petty.
While Davis was holding Sedro-Woolley in check, South Whidbey scored five times Wednesday behind seven hits, six walks and two hit batters.
Dylan Paine tripled, Smith-Heacox doubled; Davis, Thorsen, Lane Nichols, Mathias Pierson and Malachi Pierson all singled; and Petty and Dixon each walked twice to help South Whidbey secure the win.
“This team is a scrappy bunch of good kids,” coach Petty said. “They bring it together as a team and complement each other’s skills.
“They do not have that ‘singular hero,’ and thus each player strives to do his best to help the team succeed.”