Sports

Junior baseball regional: Central Whidbey beaten by Butte

The second day of the regional Junior Little League baseball tournament in Laguna Niguel, Calif., wasn't much better than the first for Central Whidbey.

The Montana champions from Butte topped Central Whidbey 10-1 Wednesday, Aug. 4. CW fell in its opener 12-1 to Nogales, Ari., in the opener Tuesday.

Today, Aug. 5, Central Whidbey faces Troutdale, Ore., at 12:30 p.m. The Oregon champions have also lost both their games, dropping an 8-5 decision to the host team from Aliso Viejo, Calif., and a 12-2 match to Nogales.

The local boys will meet Rocklin, Calif., Friday, then complete pool play against Aliso Viejo Saturday.

Butte used a three-run home run to help power to a 5-0 lead in the first inning in its win over Central Whidbey Wednesday.

Central Whidbey coach Chris Tumblin said Butte hit the ball hard in the first inning, but after that relief pitchers Korbin Korzan, Morgan Payne and Jake Tumblin shut them down.

After the initial uprising, Montana's offense was fueled by Central Whidbey mistakes, according to Tumblin. For example, a seventh inning, bases loaded bunt cleared the bases as CW committed one mistake after another on the same play.

Tumblin said, "I don't understand why we can continue to make so many tiny mistakes. We are also making mental mistakes, silly mistakes. This is not the team we have seen all year."

Not all was a downer. Tumblin said, "We had some good innings" after the first and "threw out some base runners."

The lack of Central Whidbey offense, Tumblin said, was more bad luck than bad hitting. "We swung the bat well but hit grounders to where they were standing. No one struck out looking."

Hits by Ben Etzell and Payne and two stolen bases by Jake Tumblin led the offense.

Coach Tumblin looks for his team to rebound today. He said, "Realistically we were a better team than the two we played."

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