Behind efficient pitching, solid defense and mighty batting, South Whidbey Little League’s Dodgers squad claimed the Andrade Tournament championship on Thursday in Oak Harbor.
South Whidbey never trailed as the 11- and 12 year-old Dodgers broke free from a tie in the fourth inning and piled on more runs in the fifth and sixth to beat Coupeville 9-2.
Dodgers coach Brian Sterba credited the one-two pitching of Brent Batchelor and Ethan Petty plus the hitting of Drew Frye, Josh Sterba, Batchelor and Petty. Frye had a triple, and Petty hit a triple with two RBI. Sterba brought in two runs, as did Nick Black.
The victory concludes the regular Little League season on Whidbey Island, with the Dodgers finishing their season with only one loss and one tie, including winning three out of four games against Coupeville.
“It was a great end of the season,” said Sterba, who along with manager Shane Thrasher and coach Dave Grimm, helmed his first Little League tournament championship win.
“Nothing really spectacular,” he added, referring to the Dodgers’ championship play. “A few strikeouts, some little dribblers and got them out at first.”
Batchelor pitched five innings and gave up two runs while striking out six and allowing a pair of walks. Petty took over hurling duties in the sixth inning and closed the game to secure South Whidbey’s second consecutive Andrade Tournament title.
When asked if it was the start of a South Whidbey Little League dynasty, Petty laughed and said, “I hope so.”
With strong winds kicking up, the field became “the dust bowl,” Sterba said, and slowed play a bit. The game lasted about two hours.