North Whidbey won and Central Whidbey lost in the 11/12 Little League district tournament Thursday, July 4, and those results set up a showdown between the two island clubs in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday, July 5, in Sedro-Woolley.
North Whidbey edged Anacortes 3-2 for its second win after a first-round loss, and Central Whidbey fell 12-3 to Sedro-Woolley to drop into the losers’ bracket.
The winner of the North Whidbey/Central Whidbey game earns the right to meet Sedro-Woolley in the championship series at 10 a.m. Saturday and, if necessary, 1 p.m. Sunday. Since Sedro-Woolley is undefeated, the North/Central winner will have to top Sedro-Woolley twice to collect the championship.
In the North Whidbey/Anacortes game, both teams failed to score in the first two innings although North Whidbey had two on with no outs in the second.
In the third, Anacortes tallied first on a walk, two wild pitches and a single. North Whidbey limited the damage when second baseman Timothy Steinke made a spectacular catch and flipped to shortstop Micah Franklin for a double play.
Anacortes’ lead was quickly erased as North Whidbey scored two in the bottom half of the third. With one out, Ethan Cosper reached on an error, stole second and scored on Trevor Sheils’ single. Franklin’s single put runners on first and third, and Sheils scored on a wild pitch.
Anacortes opened the fourth with a single and double. The next hitter tapped back to pitcher Donny Kloewer who cut down the runner at the plate. An error on the next batter allowed the tying run to score.
North Whidbey regained the lead in its half. With one out, Kamren Mebane singled and took second on an error. Steinke pinch ran for Mebane, went to third on Kaleb Vaughn’s single and scored the game’s final run by stealing home.
Thomas Anderson entered to pitch for North Whidbey and put Anacortes down in order over the final two innings with the help of two nice defensive plays.
In the fifth he struck out two then deflected the grounder of the next hitter. Franklin scooped it up and gunned down the runner at first for the third out.
In the sixth, center fielder Cosper raced in to rob Anacortes of a hit to help Anderson close it out.