A little bit of the pressure is off for Pacific Little League.
Pacific/Washington opened the Western Regional Little League tournament with a 10-2 victory over Oregon Friday morning at Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif.
“Everyone is feeling good,” Pacific manager Robley Corsi II said. “It’s nice to get that first win.”
Up next for Pacific is an 8:30 a.m. game on Sunday against Montana. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
Oregon scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but the lead didn’t last long as Pacific responded with four runs in the top of the second, highlighted by a three-run home run by Colton Walsh. Earlier in the inning, Robley Corsi III singled to center to drive in Karsten Tjarneberg.
“I think we tend to start a little nervous,” coach Corsi II said. “We got comfortable and played our game.”
A bases-loaded walk in the fourth extended Pacific’s lead to 5-2.
Starting pitching Ian Michael settled down after the first inning, striking out nine and issuing no walks. He eventually was lifted in the fourth inning for Logan Kruse.
“Ian Michael was absolutely great,” coach Corsi II said.
Kruse later was able to work out of a jam with a strikeout on a curveball that coach Corsi II described as “absolutely unbelievable.”
Pacific added five more runs in the top of the six to take a 10-2 lead.
“We were just trying to get one more run,” coach Corsi II said. “We were fortunate to scratch a few more runs across.”
Matthew Turcotte hit a double to drive in two runs and Tyler Durbin hit a single to score a run. Pacific also took advantage of a passed ball and wild pitch to push across two runs.
Pacific finished with 10 hits and played all-around solid defense.
“Defense was good,” coach Corsi II said. “It’s going to get better. They were a little bit nervous, not knowing anything about Oregon’s kids. … We have a few little things to tighten up.”
Pacific plans to keep to its regular morning practice in part to avoid the afternoon heat. Coach Corsi II hopes to do some type of team activity on Saturday. It was just the luck of the draw that Pacific has Saturday off.
“It was a super great experience,” coach Corsi II said of the tournament opener. “We’re all just having fun and enjoying every single minute of it. We’re having a great time.”
– By David Pan