South Whidbey defeated South Skagit’s American League 5-1, and came back to beat Burlington 4-1 on July 11 during the District 11 Little League All-Star tournament in Oak Harbor.
South Whidbey took the lead in the first inning of Tuesday’s game and never looked back.
First baseman Dane Heggenes walked, stole second, and came home on third baseman Aaron Curfman’s double off the center field fence.
The team added two more runs in the second, when pitcher Jack Lewis beat out a grounder for a hit, stole second and scored on outfielder Josh Bishop’s hot smash up the first base line.
Bishop alertly took second on the play, reached third on catcher Mitchell Hughes’ grounder and raced home on a passed ball.
South Skagit got their only run in the bottom of the second, when pitcher Arron Daut knocked in a solo home run.
Lewis effectively shut down South Skagit’s offense for the rest of the game, striking out 13 while scattering just three hits and one walk over the six innings.
South Whidbey’s defense was highlighted by catcher Hughes’ barehanded midair grab of a bouncing bunt to throw out the batter, and Heggenes’ snag of a hard-hit liner to first.
In the top of the sixth, South Whidbey added two insurance runs. Shortstop Daniel Caron walked and reached third on wild pitches. Curfman broke for second on a walk, drawing a throw that allowed Caron to score. Curfman took third on another wild pitch, then dashed home when the South Skagit pitcher missed a toss back from his catcher.
The final score was 5-1.
In their 4-1 victory in game two over Burlington, South Whidbey opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, when Caron walked and took second and third on passed balls.
Curfman lofted a dunker into short right field and stretched it into a double, scoring Caron.
Burlington came back immediately in the top of inning two, with a single and three walks that scored the tying run and left the bases loaded.
But Heggenes set down the next three batters with a strikeout, a grounder to Spencer Koszarek at second, who saved a run by firing to Hughes at the plate, and a grounder to Curfman at third.
South Whidbey regained the lead in the bottom of the second, when Lewis singled, right fielder Josh Bishop bunted him to second, center fielder Patrick Monell walked, and Koszarek doubled into the right field corner, bringing in Lewis and Monell.
Burlington loaded the bases again in the third, but Heggenes tagged out one runner trying to score on a passed ball and got two more outs on ground balls to Curfman at third and Lewis at first.
Curfman came in to pitch in the fourth, and set down the next nine Burlington batters, striking out four to seal South Whidbey’s victory.
The South Enders added a final run in the fifth when Heggenes was hit by a pitch and worked his way home on Burlington passed balls, sliding in for a close play at the plate.
In the Burlington sixth, Lewis pulled in a mile-high bouncer at third and threw a strike to first for out Number 1. The second batter struck out on three pitches, and Caron caught a pop-up to shortstop for the last out.
The team is managed by Kevin Caron with coaching assistance from Donald Heggenes.