WALLA WALLA — A pair of late-inning rallies have left Mason Baseball of Aberdeen as the last unbeaten team in its division of the State Senior Legion AA Baseball Tournament.
Tyler Ames’ walk-off single in the eighth inning gave Mason a 7-6 win over Mount Spokane in the winners’ bracket final Monday night at Walla Walla Community College.
Mason had scored four times in the seventh to edge the Walla Walla Bruins, 9-7, on Sunday. The Grays Harbor team opened the tourney with a 13-3 rout of the defending state champion Burlington Sox on Saturday.
The 16-team tournament has been split into a pair of eight-team divisions. As the last unbeaten club in its division, Mason will face the survivor of a pair of loser-out games in the divisional title round, which will begin at 7 p.m. today.
With a victory, the Aberdeen club would advance directly to the state championship game against the winner of the other division in a winner-take-all contest at 1 p.m. Thursday at Borleske Stadium (the home of Walla Walla’s Northwest League franchise).
If Mason loses tonight, a second division title contest would be scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Mason 7, Mount Spokane 6
Hard-hitting Mount Spokane rallied from a 6-2 deficit Monday to force extra innings.
Cole Edwards, however, reached second on a throwing error with two outs in Mason’s half of the eighth. Ames, who had dropped a perfect squeeze bunt in the second inning, drilled a sharp single to center field and Edwards slid home underneath the tag.
Deon Schlesser, who pitched the final two innings, picked up the victory. Mason manager Dave Edwards also cited the starting pitching of Tristan Stutesman.
“This Mount Spokane team can really hit the ball. They scored 29 runs in their first two games,” Edwards said. “Even though they scored five off Tristan in six innings, that was really effective pitching.”
Blake Kelly and Addam Follett each had two hits, including doubles, to lead Mason’s attack. Cole Edwards scored three runs.
Mason 9, Walla Walla 7
Jordon Logan’s three-run double was the big blow in the seventh inning of the victory over Walla Walla.
With Mason trailing 7-5, Josh Bishop singled and Schlesser was hit by a pitch to open the seventh. Kolby Shelton’s single scored Bishop.
After Follett drew a walk to load the bases, Logan cleared them with a drive to left-center that nearly cleared the fence for a grand slam.
The Bruins had blasted a grand slam in a five-run fifth inning that erased a 5-1 Mason lead.
Sammy Lowder went the distance on the mound, striking out eight.
Schlesser had two hits and three RBIs in the winning cause.
Mason 13, Burlington 3
Shelton did it all in the opening-day win over Burlington.
He pitched a complete-game five-hitter, striking out six, and supported his own cause with three hits (including a triple and double) and six RBIs.
Lowder added three hits and Kelly and Schlesser had two hits apiece. Cole Edwards also scored three runs in this game, while Bishop had an RBI triple.
“In this tournament, we’ve been getting timely hitting and we’re getting hitting all the way through our lineup,” Dave Edwards noted. “And our pitchers have been on fire since the divisional tournament.”
Mason pitchers, in fact, had thrown 28 consecutive scoreless innings in postseason play until Burlington scored in the fifth inning of the state opener.