MI Little League a game away from World Series

The Washington state champions from Mercer Island Little League racked up their 5th consecutive mercy rule win on Thursday, beating the Alaska state champions from Sitka Little League 15-1 in 4 innings, to advance to the NW Regional Little League Championship game, which will be played on Saturday at 6pm and televised nationally on ESPN. The winner of that game will advance to the Little League World Series beginning Aug. 21 in Williamsport, PA.

Washington jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the 1st when Josh Stenberg walked and then scored on a triple by William Mansfield. Keegan Ogard batted him in and then scored himself on a passed ball. Stenberg hit a solo home run in the 2nd to put Washington up 4-0, the 8th Mercer Island player to homer since all-star play began.

Washington added five more in the 3rd, when Max Hibbert, Anthony Scalzo and Michael Bantle walked; Josh Stenberg singled, scoring two; Mansfield and Ogard walked, scoring Bantle; and then Stenberg and Mansfield scored on a single by Brandon Lawler. In the 4th, Nick Taylor and Anthony Scalzo were both hit by pitches, with Taylor scoring on a single by Sam Pugel; Michael Bantle reached on an error by the Alaska shortstop, and then all of them scored on a Grand Slam home run by William Mansfield. Keegan Ogard doubled and then scored on a back-to-back double by Brandon Lawler to cap the Islanders scoring.

Keegan Ogard earned the win pitching for Washington, allowing just 1 run – a solo home run in the bottom of the 4th – on 2 hits, while striking out 4.

Semi-finals highlights:

For the game, Josh Stenberg finished 2/3 with a walk a home run and 3 runs scored. William Mansfield was 3/3 with a walk, triple, grand slam home run, 3 runs scored and 5 RBI. Keegan Ogard was 1/2 with a double, 2 walks, 2 RBI and 2 runs. Brandon Lawler was 2/4 with a double and 3 RBI. Sam Pugel was 1/1 with an RBI and scored a run.

In 5 games at Regionals, Washington has won all 5 by 10-run mercy rule, while outscoring their opponents by a combined 62-4.