Pacific Little League is two wins against from earning a trip to the Little League World Series.
In its final game in Northwest Pool Play, Pacific’s bats pounded out a 13-3 victory over Wyoming Tuesday night in a four- inning contest called due to the 10-run mercy rule at Houghton Field in San Bernardino, Calif.
“We played a great game tonight,” Pacific manager Robley Corsi II said.
Tuesday’s game started at 7 in the evening and was the first time Pacific played a night game in the tournament.
“It was a lot of fun to have the late game,” Corsi II said. “It’s definitely an experience.”
The victory clinched the No. 1 seed for Pacific (4-0), who will play either Alaska or Montana, the No. 4 seed, in a semifinal game at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7. That game is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN. Alaska and Montana square off on Wednesday.
A win in the semifinals sends Pacific into Saturday’s championship game with a trip to Williamsport, Penn., the reward for the winner.
Asked if Pacific is peaking at the right time, Corsii II said not quite yet.
“We’re getting closer,” he said. “We’ll need to get a few hits and see what happens.”
As the team did in Monday’s 5-2 victory over Idaho, Pacific scored early and kept the pressure on Wyoming. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Mason Vaughn’s single to right field scored Colton Walsh. An error and a walk led to two more runs and 3-0 lead.
Wyoming responded with two runs in the second, but Pacific seized the momentum back with five runs in the bottom of the inning on a hit-by-pitch to force in a run, a two-run double by Vaughn and a RBI single by Read Carr. In the fourth, Robley Corsi III doubled to left field to drive in two runs. Pacific then took advantage of a fielder’s choice, a passed ball and a single by Colton Walsh to extend the lead to 13-3 and clinch the victory.
Vaughn was 2-for-2 with 3 RBI and Carr was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI. Turcotte picked up the win with relief help from Walsh and Logan Kruse.
With pool play over for Pacific, the pressure ramps up for Pacific as a loss in either the semifinals or the championship means the end of the season.
“They know what’s ahead,” Corsi II said. “This is what we’re built for: pressure. In districts and state we had some real grinders. We believe. That’s says a lot about our character. We’re ready to go.”
Corsi II hasn’t decided what the team will do on Wednesday but it’ll be a day off for the players.
“We’ll do something very relaxing and very fun and air conditioned,” Corsi II said.
– By David Pan