The West Plains Little League Majors All-Star team found the going rather rough in competition July 13-21 at the state tournament in Vancouver, Wash.
The District 13 champions lost their opener July 13 to a team from Ridgefield whose first six players in the batting order were all physically bigger than the biggest player in the West Plains squad, coach Tad Richardson said. That included their 6-foot-1-inch left-handed starting pitcher, who combined with three other pitchers to strike out all 12 West Plains players in the 13-0, four-inning game. West Plains did have one player reach base on a strikeout/wild pitch.
Knocked into the elimination bracket West Plains faced an Eastlake team July 14 that only had three players bigger than them, but didn’t have much more luck. After a good first inning, Richardson said their No. 1 pitcher, Devin Cook had to leave the game after deflecting a line drive with his pitching hand, and the Eastlake squad responded by hitting four home runs in the 11-0 win.
Eastlake, District 9 champs who lost their opener 6-5 to Federal Way, went on to run through the elimination bracket and earn a rematch with the District 10 representatives in the title series, earning revenge and a state title with 13-7 and 12-2 wins.
Richardson, who was assisted by league coaches Kent Martin and Sean Chabot, was proud of the way the West Plains team competed in the two days at Vancouver.
“Despite being physically over-matched, our boys never backed-down and represented themselves and our community with great effort and pride,” he said in an email. “It was an excellent experience for all of us.”
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.