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Little League District: Central and North to square off Friday
The Central and North Whidbey 13-14 baseball teams will square off Friday, July 9, at 6 p.m. at the South Whidbey Community Park to secure a spot in the District 11 championship game.
The matchup of local teams was a result of Central Whidbey's 14-4 win over South Whidbey and North Whidbey's 8-4 loss to South Skagit Thursday, July 8, at South Whidbey.
The winner of the Central/North clash will have to defeat South Skagit, who is the only undefeated team left in the tournament, twice Saturday to earn the championship and a berth in the state tournament. The first game will start at noon at South Whidbey Community Park; the second, if necessary, is set for 3 p.m.
In other action Thursday, the North Whidbey 10-11 team was eliminated by host Sedro-Woolley 14-4, and the Central Whidbey 9-10 team was knocked out by Burlington 23-10 at South Whidbey.
Central Whidbey used a 10-run fifth inning to defeat South Whidbey; it also beat South Whidbey by the identical score Monday.
Doubles by Jake Tumblin and Paul Schmakeit highlighted the big inning. Tumblin also scored three runs, stole two bases and produced a strong pitching performance.
Coach Chris Tumblin added that Ben Etzell excelled behind the plate and threw out several would-be stealers.
In North Whidbey's loss to South Skagit, it fell behind 5-0 after two innings and never recovered.
In the fourth North Whidbey picked up three runs, getting key hits from Tom Horton, Hunter Adams, Rhse Matilla and Jerry Rios. They could have possibly produced more during the inning but had two runners thrown out on the bases.
Sedro-Woolley used a big fifth inning to put away North Whidbey in Thursday’s game.
The highlight of the contest, according to coach Ken Harrison, was a slick double play by the local club. Second baseman Dominic Stevens made a diving stop and threw from the ground to force the runner at first. First baseman Dylan Bailey then fired to third baseman Trent Benson to nail another runner trying to advance.
Harrison said, “I’m proud of the team; they did the best that they could.”
Burlington exploded for 15 runs in the third inning to fly by Central Whidbey.
Bryce Payne was 2-for-3 with two runs for CW, and Kyle Rockwell was 2-for-3 with a double. Coach Mike Etzell said each player reached base safely at least once.
Etzell said Bryce Payne was a “strike machine” and Cameron Toomey-Stout “did admirably in relief.”
He praised the play of outfielders Keith Hovde, Josh Robinson, Brian Roberts and Mitch Carroll, as well as the effort of infielders Jake Hoagland, Nick Etzell and Payne. He also noted the work of catchers Joey Lippo and Rockwell on a very hot evening.