The South Whidbey Little League Nationals protected their home turf by winning the sixth annual Minor League Henry Pope Tournament last week in Langley.
Both SWLL entries in the tournament reached the championship game, and the Nationals slipped by the Dodgers 3-1 to claim the title.
The championship contest was the second time the two teams met in the tournament, and the Nationals won both with the same 3-1 score.
The first showdown went extra innings before Levi Batchelor drove in the winning run.
The two teams received strong performances from a host of pitchers: Kowen White, Collier Honold, Liam Monaghan, Carson Goodman, Bryson Taylor, Killian Shaw, Aedan Fisher and Tucker Allen.
White and Taylor each also raced around the bases for inside-the-park home runs.
All of the players “contributed to their teams, and we are so proud of how South Whidbey Little League can honor a great man,” Olivia Batchelor, SWLL player agent, said. “It was fantastic having his (Henry Pope’s) wonderful wife Teresa at the field today cheering and reminiscing about the days she and Henry coached here.”
Teresa Pope also noted “the innocence of the kids,” Batchelor said, and how the players don’t care so much about winning and losing but look forward to the getting “a hot dog and orange soda” after the game.