South Highline National stays in contention defeating West Seattle
By Gerardo Bolong
Constant offensive pressure joined stellar relief pitching for the South Highline National 8-10 age division Little League baseball All-Stars in a 13-5 loser-out win of the 2018 district VII tournament held on Thurs., June 28.
The Nationals took a first inning lead, but had to rally from a mid-game deficit to eliminate West Seattle at the Pacwest fields in SeaTac.
“Our team played really great ball,” manager Kris Kelly said. “They put the ball in play and made them make plays. We put the pressure on them from the get go.”
Trailing 4-2, after three innings, the Nationals from Normandy Park took charge of the rematch from a previous SHN win against WSLL.
South Highline National parlayed one hit, four walks and a hit batter into a four-run uprising that staked National to a 6-4 lead.
In the fifth inning, SHNLL racked up five more runs. Luis Sanchez and Jack Fenton each struck two RBI doubles for runs as big blows that helped pad the lead to 11-4.
Rylan Keene doubled home a run as Rian Eaton walked to force home run number 13.
Strapping right hander Fenton struck out two consecutive batters in relief to stop the WS second inning after four runs had poured across home plate. He finally allowed a one-out run with a wild pitch in the sixth inning.
Regaining focus, Fenton closed out his 76-pitch effort with no further scoring.
For his mound stint, Fenton struck out a dozen batters.
“I was just trying to do a little more,” said Fenton. “They’re doing so good.”
SHN immediately applied pressure in the top of the first inning.
Lead off batter Luis Sanchez flipped a single into left field. After Sanchez arrived on second base on a wild pitch, Jack Fenton lined an opposite field single through the left side to score Sanchez. As the left fielder was unable to grab the hit cleanly, Fenton raced to third base.
Jayce Fitzgerald grounded out to second base to score Fenton and send National into a 2-0 lead.
West Seattle retaliated in the second inning beginning with Ryan Typpi’s lead off single and a base on balls to Otis Schaefer. Rafa Fein-Wallace responded with an RBI single before reaching second base on a wild pitch.
A series of walks produced two additional runs and Bryce Fitzgerald rapped a run-scoring single as the Westsiders grabbed a 4-2 lead.
This would be the last WS score for nearly the rest of the game.