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SKSLL all-stars tripped by Bainbridge
Local Little Leaguers drop two lopsided games in title series
The South Kitsap Southern Little League All-Stars had their chances, but two big innings by the Bainbridge All-Stars put them behind the eight-ball, ultimately falling 12-4 last Thursday night at Art Mikelsen Field in the championship game of the Little League District 2 tournament.
Bainbridge got on the board first as Tino Peleti singled in a run in the first inning.
South Kitsap countered in the second by loading the bases on a walk, a hit batsman and an error.
Pitcher Bryce Broome tied the game up with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Bainbridge retook the lead when Peleti drove a pitch over the fence in left center field in the third inning. But Tyler Pinkerton tied things up with a home run off Bainbridge starter Pierre LeDorze.
His towering fly ball kept South Kitsap in the game, with an opportunity for more as Tiler Moore doubled, then reached third on a passed ball.
LeDorze came back with a strikeout, but Andrew Pilkinton walked and took second on a passed ball.
But Broome grounded out to second to end the threat.
That was the last time South Kitsap was in reach of the lead.
Jack Post scored Harrison King on a suicide squeeze, then Brett Green doubled to drive in two. LeDorze and Peleti went back-to-back on home runs to break the game open.
“These guys (Bainbridge) finally found their bats,” said manager Darren Pinkerton, referring to Broome’s 14-strikeout performance against Bainbridge last Saturday. “They didn’t have any bats in the last game.
“Somehow they found bats and put runs on the board and we couldn’t keep up,” he said. “That’s the way it goes.”
South Kitsap got another run across in the fifth when Zach Ringer scored on a passed ball, but Bainbridge countered again with two doubles and a home run by Ben Kussie.
In the sixth inning, South Kitsap got a leadoff home run from Moore and base hits by Broome and Austin Hammer to keep hope alive, but Peleti shut the door in relief for the win.
“They’re an excellent hitting team, but they just didn’t show up in these last two games with the bats,” Pinkerton said.
South Kitsap Southern was forced into a second championship game by getting blown out by Bainbridge 12-1 a day earlier.
South Kitsap took the lead in the first inning when Paulson reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored when Wood blooped a single to center field, but the throw got away from the third baseman and went out of play.
But Bainbridge sent 14 batters to the plate in their half of the frame to score 11 runs.
Pinkerton got the start, but gave up three runs off of three hits, including a two-run home run to straight away center field.
Wood came on in relief, but he couldn’t get an out either, as he was rocked for five runs off of three hits, a walk and a hit batsman.
Ringer came on in relief, but he gave up five more runs off of two hits and an error when Balzaburski’s throw to the catcher was off line.
He did make a nice one hand catch to get an out one batter later.
Ringer gave up another run off a fielder’s choice and a double in the second inning.
South Kitsap could only muster three more hits off of Kussie, as he used his off-speed pitches to keep the batters off-balance.
Bainbridge manager Greg Wellbrock was glad to get past Broome and their hard-hitting lineup.
“This guy (Broome) had a fastball that could sneak up on you pretty good,” he said. “They’ve got some fine hitters. They can hit a fastball as good as anybody in this tournament. I have a lot of respect for that squad.”
Despite the loss, Pinkerton said he was happy the kids didn’t give up.
“They’re scrappy,” he said. “They’re a great hitting team.”