District Nine champs Mercer Island silenced South Skagit bats on July 26 in their first 11/12-year-olds Little League All-Star state tournament game, winning 4-0.
Playing in Port Orchard on Sunday, Mercer Island pitcher William Mansfield struck out 14 batters in five innings without allowing a base hit before making way for closer Brandon Lawler, who struck out the final batter from the District 11 All-Stars.
South Skagit’s pitcher, Nolan Zimmer, who threw a four-inning no-hitter himself during their district tournament, threw another excellent game against the Islanders’ usually high-scoring lineup, holding the Islanders at bay for three innings.
But Zimmer walked four batters in the fourth inning, leading to scores from Keegan Ogard and Sam Pugel. Islander David Emanuels’ bunt-single keyed the runs by loading the bases.
Brandon Lawler led off the fifth inning with a double and then scored on an RBI double by Keegan Ogard, scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Taylor. Ogard and Emanuels each hit doubles and went two-for-three in the game; Ogard also scored twice and batted in another run. Mansfield, Bantle, Lawler and Max Hibbert also had hits during the game.
Several players on the Islanders’ 11/12 All-Star team are hoping to repeat the success that they enjoyed last year at the 9/10-year-old level and win the state tournament. The state title was the first that the Mercer Island Little League baseball has enjoyed in several years.
Their next game was scheduled on Tuesday, July 28 (after the Reporter’s deadline) against District Two Champions Bainbridge Island at 7:30 p.m. in Port Orchard.
The victor of that match-up will play in the semifinal of the double-elimination tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 31.
Collectively, the Islanders have outscored their opponents 70-6 so far and haven’t yet lost in tournament play.
The Bainbridge team is coached by former Mercer Islander Doug McCombs and is holding a 2-0 record in the tournament following a come-from-behind 8-5 win over District 10 champs Kent LL on Saturday and a 4-0 over District Eight title-holders Richmond on Sunday.
Thanks to modern technology, fans don’t have to take the ferry across the Sound to see the game live: A tournament Web cam allows anyone with a fast Internet connection to follow developments remotely.
Watch online at www.littleleaguewa.org/content/view/18/55.