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Nothin' 'little' in this league
Showcasing its new baseball complex to the entire West Sound, host South Kitsap Eastern Little League also found itself with a winning team.
The SK Eastern Major (11 and 12 year olds) Little League All-Star team emerged as the only South Kitsap team to make it through to the quarterfinals without a loss last weekend in the Little League District 2 All-Star tournament in Manchester.
Eastern opened the tournament with a solid 3-1 win against North Mason Saturday and a 5-1 win against Key Peninsula Sunday.
The wins set up a quarterfinal matchup with East/South Jefferson.
Southern fell to Port Townsend 5-3 in extra innings and but kept its hopes alive with a 5-0 win Monday against Sequim.
Western lost to Sequim 8-5 and played North Kitsap American in a loser-out game yesterday.
Results of that game were unavailable at press time.
Eastern relied on a formula of good pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting.
Easterns Marshall Burton earned the win on the mound after throwing five innings of one-hit ball while walking just three batters.
Reliever Casey Coulon came in the sixth inning for the save.
Coulon, Easterns No. 3 hitter, broke open a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with a three-run home run, which proved to be the game-winner.
Eastern pitcher Joey Cole was equally impressive Sunday against Key Peninsula.
The hard-throwing right hander retired the first 10 batters he faced and finished with a complete game three-hitter while striking out eight batters in the 5-1 win.
After scoring two unearned runs in the first inning, Eastern added two more runs in the second on Coulons two-run double.
Matthew Vierela completed the scoring with an RBI single to score Kevin Dailly.
Eastern manager Dale Cooper said he hasnt even used his top pitchers yet.
Weve got six pitchers and you havent even seen our best yet, Cooper said. Our pitching has been good for us.
Cooper said he knew his squad was going to have to rely on pitching and defense to be successful.
I knew we didnt have a slugging team, but we have speed, discipline and we are a good bunting team, Cooper said. Our pitching has been solid but most importantly we dont walk anyone.
Eastern pitchers have combined for four walks through 12 innings so far in the tournament.
Western watched its early 3-0 lead evaporate in the third inning when Sequim reeled off six runs on five singles and an error off pitcher starting pitcher Mel Fingarson.
Western had built a 3-0 lead on Gabriel Fewkes two-run single and Bryan Dorseys RBI sacrifice bunt.
Western added another run on a Dorsey groundout in the fifth inning, but Sequim added two more runs in the bottom of the inning for insurance.
Western added a run in the sixth inning but it was too little, too late.