Rockies face first defeat

\Hopes for a perfect season came to an end for the North Whidbey Little League Rockies Thursday, but as of last night, the Andrade Tournament Championship was still in their sights.

The Rockies, previously 18-0, lost their first game of the year 3-2 to the South Whidbey Braves, moving them into a loser-out contest with the Central Whidbey Little League Black Sox last night.

South Whidbey earned an automatic berth the championship game at 11 a.m., today, June 12.

“They seemed to be fine,” Rockies coach John Humphries said of his team taking their first loss. “Normally you see teary eyes and all, but I didn’t see any.

They took it pretty good and they said ‘hey we’re going to come out and play tomorrow.’”

South Whidbey jumped out to the first lead of Thursday’s game in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single by T.J. Fallon. Robert Kirby followed with a groundout that scored a run from third for a 2-0 advantage.

Prior to the third inning, North Whidbey’s starting pitcher Josh Evans held the Braves scoreless, allowing only two hits, with no walks and one strikeout.

“We didn’t give up much,” Humphries said. “They just hit when they had to hit to score their runs.”

The Rockies answered the Braves in the top of the fourth after pinch hitter Kieran Casey hustled out a ground ball that scored Billy Lamson from third base.

Still down 2-1 in the top of the fifth, North Whidbey tied the game when pinch runner J.J. Malupe scored from third base on a bunt to the right side of the infield from Nathan Young.

Unfortunately, for the Rockies, this is where their offense ended.

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, South Whidbey ignited a rally via a Rockie error in the infield. After the Braves’ David Woodbury reached first base on the error, South Whidbey hit back-to-back singles off of reliever Austin Humphries, eventually driving across Woodbury for the winning run.

“One error right there just kind of crushes you, but that’s what happens—that’s baseball,” coach Humphries said.

South Whidbey starter Robert Kirby pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits, three walks and the two runs. Kirby’s curveballs kept the Rockies off balance all night.

“You don’t see that much here,” Humphries said of the curveball. “They were looking for it too much and didn’t jump on the fastball when they should have.”

Austin Humphries led the Rockies at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a single and a double.

Central Whidbey 8, South Skagit 1

The Central Whidbey Black Sox defeated the South Skagit Nationals 8-1 Thursday in a loser-out game.

Levi MaVorhise and Derrick Lind combined for six innings of one-hit baseball for Central Whidbey.

Dakota Brown hit a home run for the Black Sox. Kevin Eaton was 2-for-2 with three RBI and Jake Hill and Jonathon Royal both went 3-for-4 at the plate.

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