SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The Boulder-Arrowhead Little League team handled top-seeded Lynnwood Pacific just fine until it was Washington's last turn to bat.
Lynnwood Pacific scored seven runs in the final inning to pull away for a 10-4 victory in the Little League West Region semifinals on Thursday night. Boulder-Arrowhead won one of its five tournament games, but was competitive throughout.
This past Sunday, Boulder-Arrowhead took Lynnwood Pacific into extra innings before allowing six runs in the ninth in pool play.
Lynnwood Pacific is 5-0 in the tournament. It plays Bend North of Oregon at 2 p.m. Saturday. Bend North defeated Alaska, 7-6, in Thursday’s first game.
ESPN will televise the finale. The winner advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 14-24.
Lynnwood Pacific sent 11 batters to the plate in the seven-run sixth inning. Tyler Durbin broke open the game with a three-run home run with one out, and Karsten Tjarneberg hit a two-run homer three batters later.
“We can’t score early, but we can score late,” Lynnwood Pacific manager Robley Corsi Jr. said. “Did you see my beard turn gray during the game.”
Boulder-Arrowhead coach Tyler Johnson was happy with his team's effort.
“We didn’t have a 6-foot kid who could throw 70 miles an hour, but this team got everything they could out of their talent,” Johnson said. “This will sting for the kids a little while, but they were fearless and played to win even when we were overmatched. They can take pride in being the Montana state champion.”
In a six-team pool, Boulder-Arrowhead didn’t face Wyoming, the weakest squad region. A highlight was a 13-7 victory against the team from Lewiston, Idaho.
“We knew we would need to win and score a lot of runs in that game,” Johnson said. “This was a great experience for a 12-year-old kid.”
The team visited Six Flags Magic Mountain and will probably visit another Southern California attraction.
“They play like geniuses when they are between the white lines, but then act like funny goofballs when we went to Magic Mountain,” Johnson said.