CENTRALIA — By overcoming an early deficit and late Chehalis rally, Aberdeen’s 10-11 Little League all-stars earned a trip to state.
Aberdeen completed an unbeaten run to the District III championship with a 10-9 victory over Chehalis on Wednesday night at Fort Borst Park.
The Harborites will return to Lewis County for the state 10-11 tourney beginning July 20 at Chehalis.
Aberdeen took a 10-5 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. However, Chehalis was not ready to lie down.
Cade Haller and Max Taylor each singled to open the Chehalis sixth. Luke Wichert followed with an infield single. Haller held at third on Wichert’s hit, but took off for home and scored when he noticed that Aberdeen’s first baseman had his attention focused on Wichert running through first base.
Aberdeen pitcher Kobie Fall retired the next two batters, before Drayson Hilkemeier reached base and Taylor scored on a fielding error by the third baseman. The catcher then attempted to throw out Wichert at third, but the throw sailed into left field, with Wichert scoring and Hilkemeier advancing to third.
After a walk by Brock Bunker, Cameryn Bostwick came through with a ground ball single that drove in Hilkemeier and cut Aberdeen’s lead to one. But Aberdeen closed the door on the comeback when Carter McCoy grounded out to Anthony Alexander at first base for the final out.
“These boys deserve it,” Aberdeen head coach Kevin Brown said. “These guys have been together since they were five years old. They played T-Ball together, then came up through AA and AAA. Now here they are, district champs. It’s awesome. They really deserve it.”
Kevin Brown also noted that he was proud of his team’s character and resiliency, then Elijah Brown for his performance at the plate and Carter Olsen for his performance on the mound.
Elijah Brown recorded a hit in each of his four plate appearances and drove in two runs. Olsen shook off a shaky start and pitched four strong innings for Aberdeen, allowing just two earned runs.
In the top of the second inning, Chehalis’ Hilkemeier reached base and advanced to second on an Aberdeen throwing error. Hilkemeier then scored when Bunker reached on a fielding error by the second baseman. Bostwick’s double and Haller’s RBI triple helped complete the four-run inning.
Aberdeen responded quickly in the top of the third inning. Elijah Brown led off with a line- drive single into left field. Alexander reached on a fielding error by the third baseman.
Later in the inning, Connar Sherman doubled into the right-center field gap, driving in Brown. Parker Cotton followed with a single that plated Alexander. Two batters later, Dakota Davis drove in Sherman with a single of his own to tie the game at 4-4.
Aberdeen scored three more runs in the fourth to grab a permanent lead.
After singling and advancing to third on Brown’s single and a wild pitch, Fall scored on Alexander’s infield out.
A couple of batters later, Cotton came through with a two-out single that plated Brown. Then R.J. Miller, who had been hit by a pitch, scored on an error by the shortstop, putting Aberdeen up 7-4.
Aber 013 321 — 10 14 7 Che 040 104 — 9 11 4
Olsen, Fall (5) and Brown; Hilkemeier, McCoy (4), Wichert (6) and Lusk.