Strong fielding augmented powerful hitting in a West Seattle 21-8 stoppage of District 4 Camas.
West Seattle blasts Camas
By Gerardo Bolong
West Seattle unloaded a strong arsenal of offense for success in its latest tourney triumph.
Ulee Hammer's grand slam homer in the bottom of the fifth finally allowed the District VII West Seattle Little League Majors ages 11-12 baseball All-Stars to subdue District IV Camas 21-8 in a 10-run mercy rule first round victory of the 2014 Washington State tournament hosted by District VII at West Seattle's Bar-S Fields on Sat., July 12.
"We're still grinding," said West Seattle manager Jason Woodward. "I saw good body language. They were cool and calm. Hitting was great."
For the first three innings, the teams exchanged scoring shots evenly.
Camas initiated proceedings with Dante Humble's solo homer on the second pitch of the game fueling a 3-run District IV visitor's introduction.
From the top of the West Seattle batting order, Henry Muench tattooed a lead off home run in the home at bat of the same inning to ignite a trio of WS runs that also featured Hammer's run-scoring double.
Three runs on two hits in the second inning by District IV undid the 3-3 draw and pushed Camas ahead 6-3.
District VII fired back in the home half beginning with a walk and a hit batter with no outs. Muench then singled home one run ahead of Kenji Suzuki's opposite field two-run triple into the right field corner and also scored on the play sequence when the throw from the outfield went over the third baseman's head.
Trailing 7-6, Camas made a counter move in its third inning, but Paul Johnson started the bottom of West Seattle's by pulling the ball over the right field fence. Suzuki's 3-RBI triple plus Jackson Sullivan's RBI single and Max Debiec's double that scored a run posted five runs and a 12-8 WS margin after three complete innings.
Twelve batters went to the plate in the West Seattle fifth. Suzuki started with a walk followed by Hammer's double. Jarek Woodward singled home a run that led to four additional runs. Standing at one run short of ending the proceedings early, West Seattle squandered one chance with a fly out to make two outs before Hammer appeared at the plate to forge the walk off decider.
"The ball just jumped when it went off the bat," said the mighty Hammer.
Restoring better order on the mound for West Seattle, right hander Debiec struck out the side in the fourth inning and allowed only two fifth inning walks while finishing with four strikeouts for the Westsiders.
"I was just going for outs," he said. "I didn't worry about them getting hits. My curve ball was working."
West Seattle moved on to a Sunday afternoon encounter with Federal Way National from the ever-tough District X.