Minors outlast majors

The weekend came and went and so too did the South Kitsap Eastern and Southern Major Little League All-Star teams.

Both teams attempted to climb through the loser’s bracket towards the championship game, but fell short Friday at Manchester for the District 2 Little League All-Star tournament.

Ironically, Eastern played its best game of the tournament in its 1-0 loss to North Kitsap American.

Pitcher Casey Coulon was brilliant on the mound, pitching a complete game three-hitter, striking out eight batters.

But it was his throwing error to third base in the third inning that provided the only run North Kitsap would need to win.

Eastern had runners on second or third base in all six innings, yet failed to get any runs home.

SK Southern had been riding on the arms of pitchers Brady Steiger and Chris Sizemore, but fatigue clearly set in with the team’s fourth game in six days.

Facing a tough Bainbridge Island hitting team, Steiger gave up eight runs in three innings before being relieved.

Bainbridge added four more against Daniel Lathrop as it ran away with a 12-4 victory.

“Nothing went our way and we didn’t make the plays we normally make,” Southern manager Jim Luebeck said. “We’re basically a solid defense team and we didn’t have any defense.”

Luebeck said he was hoping to get one more great start out of Steiger before going to some fresh arms.

“Our pitching got tired,” he said. “We went with two guys for four games, hoping to get past today and start using some other guys.”

Bainbridge was eliminated the next day by Port Townsend, which plays East Jefferson for the District 2 championship and a berth to the state tournament.

Luebeck said he also knew the odds of a team making it all the way through the loser’s bracket and into the championship game was slim to none.

“We would have had to win seven straight,” he said. “If you lose your first game, to win seven straight I kind of doubted it.”

One team that continued to defy those odds was SK Western Minor, the all-star 10 year-old team.

After falling 5-3 to Bainbridge Island Gold, Western reeled off five straight wins going into Monday evening’s game against Gig Harbor National.

Western defeated North Mason 13-4, Sequim 13-1, Bainbridge Island 11-1, North Kitsap American, and a thriller against SK Eastern 6-5.

If Western won Monday evening, it played North Kitsap American Tuesday, needing to win twice to win the district title.

Results were unavailable at press time.

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