The Mercer Island 11/12 All-Stars crushed two-time state champ Eastlake 17-1 in the Division Nine final on July 20 to advance to the state Little League tournament this weekend.
Playing at Hidden Valley Park in Bellevue, William Mansfield dominated by striking out nine batters in four innings and allowed just one run on four hits. Mercer Island scored one in the first inning on an RBI single by Brandon Lawler, and then broke the game open with eight runs in the third inning. Anthony Scalzo started off the scoring barrage with a two-run home run, followed by five straight hits and a walk to put the Islanders up 9-0. Mercer Island scored another eight runs in the fourth inning, capped by Max Hibbert’s grand slam home run. Several other players contributed on offense, including Josh Stenberg, Mansfield, Brandon Lawler and David Emanuels, who each had two hits apiece.
The Mercer Island All-Stars will start play in the Little League Majors Division (11-12 years old) state tournament at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday in Port Orchard.
It was the second time the Mercer Island majors All-Stars had defeated Eastlake, earning the come-from-behind win, 7-2, on July 16 to advance in the winner’s bracket.
To reach the district final, Mercer Island’s David Emanuels and Keegan Ogard hit solo home runs against Sammamish National and Josh Stenberg hit a bases loaded single to win on Saturday, July 18. Ogard pitched 5-2/3 innings before giving way to Brandon Lawler, who closed out the win with a 3-pitch strikeout.
Strong offensive performances from Mercer Island’s William Mansfield, Max Hibbert and Sam Pugel helped their team win District Nine — all three led the team with .600 batting averages. Manfield leads with 13 runs batted in followed by Emanuels with seven. The defense has not played badly, either: Islander pitchers Mansfield, Ogard and Lawler have allowed just five runs on eight hits in 20 innings for a team ERA of 1.20, striking out 38 opposing batters. Mansfield leads the strike tally with 20 strikeouts in the tournament.
MI 9/10 baseball All-Stars round-up
Attempting to defend its state title, Mercer Island’s All-Star 9-10 year-olds fell to Eastlake in two games for the District Nine Championship.
Each time, the All-Stars fell behind, only to rally late but eventually lose by a single run.
Playing Monday, July 13 for the title, the Islanders scored three runs and got within a run in the sixth on a bases-loaded single by Johnny van der Velden with two out, but a foul tip into the catcher’s glove ended the Islanders’ threat and the game at 9-8.
The MI All-Stars forced a second championship game from the consolation bracket the next day at Hartman Park in Redmond, but they suffered more heartbreak with another one-run loss, 4-3.