Sunday, August 18, 2013

Azadian Carries New England To 9-7 Win Over Northwest

WOLnews Photo -  #6 Max Popkin slides back into third base after slipping on the grass.
Press Conference
From Little League By Colin Brown
Despite a four-run, fifth-inning rally by Eastlake Little League from Sammamish, Wash., on Sunday afternoon, Westport Little League from Westport, Conn., was too strong in the beginning stages of the game, and held on to win 9-7.

Down 9-3 in the fifth inning, Washington, representing the Northwest region, started the big rally. Adam Carper singled to center field, which scored Jack Carper and Dalton Chandler. Two batters and one run later, Austin Oh hit a shot to left field that scored Jack Rud and brought the score to 9-7.

“I was expecting it—the fifth inning seems to be their rally cry,” said Northwest manager Rob Chandler. “We just came up a little bit short.”

“We didn’t get down in this game but certainly momentum had turned and things were swinging the other way,” said New England manager Tim Rogers. “Having experience with close games and grinding things out certainly paid off in the last three innings.”

The momentum swung New England’s way early in the game.

Jacob Dahlstrom started the game in control with three strikeouts in the first inning, but everything changed when Tatin Llamas drilled a line drive off of Dahlstrom’s leg with one out in the second inning, ending the pitcher’s day.

With Dahlstrom out, Harry Azadian had the biggest hit of the inning with a single up the middle that scored Christopher Drbal from third base and Matt Brown, who beat the throw to home plate. An overthrow down the left-field line allowed Chad Knight to score, which bumped the New England lead to 6-0.

Azadian added two more runs in the fourth inning with a deep homerun to left-center field, which pushed New England’s lead to 9-1. Azadian finished the game three-for-four with two runs and five RBI.

“It felt pretty amazing because I’ve dreamt about playing on this field,” said Azadian. “To hit a homerun — that was really big.”

Not only did Azadian get the job done at the dish, but also on the mound. Azadian pitched 3.1 innings, allowed two runs on four hits, and struck out four batters.

With the win today, New England advances to play on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m. versus West at Lamade Stadium. This was only the first loss for Northwest. Next, they play Midwest on Monday, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. at Lamade Stadium.