Photo by Gerardo Bolong
Pac West fight hard to remain in the tournament.

SLIDESHOW: Pac West goes down fighting

By Gerardo Bolong

It was a case of fighting the good fight, but just falling short.
Despite repeated comebacks, Pac West Little League Majors ages 11-12 baseball All-Stars fell short in an 8-6 loss against Renton on Thurs.., July 3, at the 2014 District VII tournament held at Valley Ridge park in SeaTac.

Pac West's second loss eliminated it from the district tourney.
It was Renton that made the final successful charge in the seventh inning after the teams played to a 6-6 stand off after six complete innings.

From the lead off spot, Michael Millanta smashed a double and then, was moved up to second base on a Kevin Hanis sacrifice bunt. Saul Hernandez and Jamari Brown followed with singles with an error on Brown's single resulting in a run. Mira Solam's RBI ground out added one more run.
Pac West placed one runner on base in the home at bat, but was unable to score, sending Renton into the loser-out semi-final against West Seattle on July 4.

Pac West manager Paul Kemp noted that it took mental ruggedness to stay invested in the game with the strength of the opposition.

"My guys fought hard," said manager Kemp. "They didn't let down. It was high energy and they fought hard to the end. It's always a good game against Renton. There was no quit in them. It's always good to play Renton. They're well coached."

Pac West grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning before Renton evened the score with a run in the top of the second inning.

Firing back in the bottom of the frame, Pac West seized an opportunity with two outs. An outfield throwing error netted one run ahead of Blaine Patten's RBI double that just blazed past the first baseman's mitt while slicing into the right field corner.

Following a scoreless third inning, Renton's Saul Hernandez launched a towering fly that went deep over the left field fence, drawing the visitors within 3-2.

Severin Antone led off the Renton fifth by legging out an infield single. Then, Tyler Marcyes attempted a sacrifice fly that turned into an infield single. Michael Millanta doubled for two runs as the Renton All-Stars went to score two additional runs for a 6-3 lead.

Attempting a comeback in the home half of the inning, PacWest drew slightly closer on Mac Greenan's opposite field home run over the left center field barriers. Timmy Brodigan followed by slamming a double and later scurrying to third base on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch mailed Brodigan home with a run to narrow Pac West's deficit to 6-5.

Down to their final at bat in regulation innings, Pac West was able to stay in contention. Misa Marin delivered a clutch single through the idle and moved up to second base on an ensuing wild pitch. Special pinch runner Bradley Anderson went in for Marin who drew deserved applause from the Pac West entourage. Kayla Siler dropped a fine bunt for an infield single and a two-base infield throwing error drew the teams even at 6-6 to lead into the final two tense innings.

Despite the loss, starting pitcher Bernie Jones was positive about the tournament experience.

"It was a great team rally and I'm proud about how we played," Jones said.

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