Despite some fine Aberdeen counter-punching, two big Chehalis innings were too much for the host team to handle.
Unbeaten Chehalis used a six-run third and an eight-run fifth to hold off Aberdeen, 20-12, and capture the District III 10-11 Little League baseball championship Wednesday at Pioneer Park’s Failor Field.
Drew Reynolds lacked only a home run of hitting for the cycle and drove in five runs to lead Chehalis, which advanced to state competition beginning July 20 at Gig Harbor.
Give Aberdeen credit for resiliency. The tourney hosts countered the six-run Chehalis third with three runs in their half of the same inning.
Then, facing a 17-4 deficit, Aberdeen matched Chehalis’ eight-run output in the fifth.
But Aberdeen, playing catch-up since Leandre Gaines’ two-run homer in the first inning, simply had too steep of a hill to climb.
Reynolds’ two-run triple and Josiah Johnson’s two-run single were the big blows in the eight-run Chehalis fifth.
On the verge of being closed out via the mercy rule, however, Aberdeen demonstrated plate discipline to climb back into contention.
The Aberdonians drew six walks and were hit by a pitch in going through three Chehalis pitchers in the bottom of fifth. Brycen Nguyen smacked a two-run double and Giovanni Pisani a two-run single in that frame.
When Trenton Fridlund’s grounder to third was thrown away for a two-run error, Aberdeen had closed the gap to 17-12 before Colby White — the fourth Chehalis pitcher of the night — finally stopped the bleeding.
That, as it developed, was Aberdeen’s best opportunity. Chehalis tacked on three more runs — two scoring on Bryce Cline’s double — in the top of the sixth.
White survived a leadoff walk to Marky Nelson in the bottom of the inning to close it out.
The freewheeling 2-hour, 40-minute contest was in stark contrast to the pitcher-dominated 3-2 Chehalis victory in Monday night’s winners bracket final.
Aberdeen touched Gaines — Chehalis’ tall, powerfully-built ace — for four runs on three hits in the first three innings, but still found itself in a 9-4 hole.
Nelson’s single knocked in Fridlund with a solo run in the second.
Liam Odell’s RBI double and Fridlund’s single were the only hits in a three-run Aberdeen third that also included two walks and a pair of dropped third strikes.
Despite its healthy scoring output, Aberdeen mustered only five hits for the contest, with no player collecting more than one.
Second baseman Olsen and reserve right fielder Jeremy Roberts made some good defensive plays for the hosts.
Cline had a pair of hits for Chehalis.
Che 216 083 — 20 12 2 Abe 013 080 — 12 5 4
Gaines, Johnson (4), Bishop (5), White (5) and Bull; Larson, Odell (4), Miller (5), Pisani (5), McCullough (6) and Pisani, Brown (4).