Pacific Little League all-stars advance to state championship
The Pacific Little League all-stars never stopped believing.
As a result, the team will be playing for the Washington State Little League championship on Saturday.
Pacific won its third straight loser-out game, beating North Bothell 11-2 Friday night at the Bar-S fields in Seattle.
The win set up a 10 a.m., Saturday, July 19 rematch with Federal Way, who beat Pacific 13-7 in a second-round game on Tuesday. Pacific must defeat Federal Way to force a second game, which would be at 1 p.m.
“Tomorrow will be fun. We have to win the first one,” Pacific coach Robley Corsi said. “Everybody knows this: if you win the first one, anything can happen in the second one, no matter who you are at that point.”
Strong pitching coupled with solid hitting lifted Pacific past North Bothell.
Colton Walsh led off the first inning with a solo home run, the first of two round trippers, as Pacific took a 1-0 lead. North Bothell tied the score in the bottom of the inning with a home run of its own.
Pacific pushed across a run in the second and then exploded for five runs in the fourth.
Robley Corsi III and Tygan Duncan both singled in runs and Walsh smacked a three-run home run as Pacific took a 7-1 lead. North Bothell scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 7-2.
With the bases loaded in the fifth, Walsh drew a walk to force in a run and Ben Grant and Tyler Durbin both followed with RBI singles as Pacific increased its advantage to 10-2. Matthew Turcotte closed out the scoring for Pacific with an RBI single in the sixth.
“We hit the ball hard,” Corsi said. “That probably was the number one thing. It was a matter of time. The runs were going to come. We just needed to keep hitting the ball.”
Walsh and Grant both have been producing key hits.
“They are just on fire right now,” Corsi said. “Those two guys are leading the team in everything.”
As the players and their families left Seattle for home, they likely were headed straight to bed. Everyone has an early call on Saturday.
“They’re trying to figure out how to get to my house at 7 o’clock in the morning,” Corsi said. “We’re going to have batting practice.”
As for any pressure of having to win three straight loser-out games, Corsi said the coaching staff feels more of it than the players do.
“The kids get to go out and play every day,” he said. “They get a rhythm and are feeling great.”
What pulled Pacific through to the championship series was teamwork and the players’ belief in each other.
“You have to believe. That’s really what it is,” Corsi said. “These kids aren’t going to quit believing.”