photo by Gerardo Bolong
Kayla Siler of PacWest sets up to hit. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR MORE

SLIDESHOW: Pac West earns state All-Star berth

It was a tough tussle of determined teams that produced a champion.

Solid hitting and defense teamed up to lead the unbeaten Pac West All-Stars to a 15-6 championship victory against a tough Rainier District team at the Washington State District VII 9-10 age Little League Baseball All-Star tournament in July 6th action at the Pac West Fields in SeaTac.

Pac West earned a state tournament berth hosted by District 10 with its opening game scheduled for high noon on Saturday at GSA Park of Auburn against a District V team.
Rainier's only other loss was to Pac West in the second round.

"We basically out hit everybody," said Pac West manager Roger Patten. "Today we had good defense and we have plenty of bats. Rainier is a tough team. They're relentless. Just when they're at the cusp of being blown out, they wouldn't go away. We have plenty of pitchers when we go to state."

Like troublesome tornadoes, the Pac West All-Stars devastated their opponents with swirling winds of early destruction.

Igniting the offense, Blaine Patten led off the game with a single. Right handed hitting Timmy Brodigan and left handed hitting Trenton Brown followed each other in the batting order for successive, opposite field, run-scoring doubles for a 2-0 Pac West lead.

Brown then swiped third base, from where he easily scored on a one-out infield miscue. Jordan Aycox later sent a runner scurrying home with the fourth run of the team's at bat.

"We fielded good and we hit good," was Tre Harshman's assessment of his team's continued success.

Right-handed pitching mound master Kayla Siler used a mixture of fast balls and curves to craft three dominating innings of no-hit ball with only one walk accompanied by solid fielding as Pac West continued to build its imposing advantage.

In the third inning, Harshman drove a lead off double deep into the left center field gap before eventually sliding safely into third base. Taking advantage of a chopping high grounder, Aycox legged out a single and later wound up on second base as a run scored.

The Pac West All-Stars then scored one run on an infield throwing error ahead of a run manufactured off Bradley Anderson's single and a pop fly out.

Brown then blasted a run-scoring triple to balloon the PW margin to 8-0.

With its hopes for victory quickly fading away with the light of day, Rainier escaped the edge of extinction with a brave battle for survival in the bottom of the fourth inning.

A leadoff bunt single and base on balls set up the scoring. Samuel Sproule and Mason Sadang each triggered RBI singles before another tally brought Rainier within 8-3. Jamahl Smith's sacrifice fly out and an ensuing infield ground out by the next batter made the score 8-5.

Siler's pitching control suffered as well with three walks and a hit batter on her ledger.

"I wasn't tired," she explained. "I just got a little nervous, but I concentrated on good thoughts to keep going."

Having rallied back into close contention, the Rainier District All-Stars registered two outs around a walk to open the top of the fifth inning, but Pac West broke through after an infield throwing error. Rainier also was unable to consistently block grounders and keep hard hit balls in front of them.

Kayla Siler followed up on the fielding miscue with a run-scoring single to left field while advancing to third base when her one-baser got through the outfield defense. A dropped fly ball in the outfield sun sent Pac West into an 11-5 margin.

Rainier notched a retaliatory run in the bottom of the fifth, but Siler's two-run double coupled with a Harshman RBI single in the sixth inning keyed a four-run Pac West salvo that put Rainier into a truly dire situation.

With one out in its final at bat, Rainier placed runners on first and second. Siler struck out the next batter to end her stint on the mound after 78 gutsy pitches.

"She's been dominant all year," added manager Patten. "I wanted her to pitch as long as she could.She's an all-around great athlete. Tre is also a great player."

Southpaw Max Greenan came on in relief to punch an exclamation on the game by striking out the next batter after a three-and-two count. PW players responded by piling on each other as a prelude to the awards presentations and further post game celebrations.

When asked about his team's chances at state, Reiss Magee was hopeful.

"I feel kind of nervous because we're going against good teams from all other places, but we are good, too, and could win," he concluded.

Rostered players for District 7 champion Pac West are Bradley Anderson, Jordan Aycox, Timmy Brodigan, Trenton Brown, Tyler Gilpatrick, Mac Greenan, Tre Harshman, Jeremiah Judd, Reiss Magee, Blaine Patten and Kayla Siler.

Assisting manager Roger Patten are coaches Jerha Hendrickson and Scott Magee.

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