Monday, August 19, 2013

Holman’s Walk-Off Grand Slam In Fourth Finalizes West Win Over Mid-Atlantic, 15-3

WOLnews Photo - West infield gathers
Press Conference
From Little League By Elizabeth Kindt
West’s Grant Holman hit a shot heard ‘round South Williamsport on Sunday night, when he knocked a walk-off grand slam over the trees behind center field on Volunteer Stadium and ended the game early, due to the 10-run rule, against Mid-Atlantic. But winning 15-3, Holman was one of plenty of heavy hitters on his team.

“Our players one through twelve continued to contribute,” said West manager Rick Tibbett. “We don’t have any weak spots down the lineup.”

That statement was very true Sunday night. West racked up ten hits to Mid-Atlantic’s three in four innings, and four West players homered in their second appearance in the Little League Baseball® World Series.

Both West and Mid-Atlantic were coming off first-round wins in the tournament, and Mid-Atlantic, from Newark, Del., started off strong with a 2-0 lead. Jack Hardcastle hit a hard double into the right-field wall, scoring Nathan Hardcastle and Joseph Davis.

But the team from Chula Vista, Calif., was quick to tie up the game with a two-run dinger off the bat of Jake Espinoza.

West continued to come out swinging in the bottom of the second, with three hits and breaking the short-lived tie on a spectacular three-run blast by Micah Pietila-Wiggs.

Eastlake Little League from Chula Vista padded their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the third, one via a solo homerun by Michael Gaines and the second courtesy of a sacrifice fly off the bat of Pietila-Wiggs, scoring Patrick Archer and bringing Pietila-Wiggs’ RBI total to four for the game.

Going into the top of the fourth trailing 7-2, Brandon Sengphachanh tried to reignite Newark National’s offense and sent a solo longshot over the right-field wall. But Mid-Atlantic just couldn’t get their bats rolling against with West’s pitching.

In the bottom of the fourth, West pitcher Nick Mora, who retired six of seven batters in two innings, contributed offensively with a fly ball to shallow center that signaled the tough inning ahead for Mid-Atlantic’s defense. They did make a nice play, catching Patrick Archer in a tight suicide squeeze at home, but three West batters walked, two scored on passed pitches, Gaines hit a two-run single, and, finally, Holman rang the bell with his walk-off grand slam, ending the game 15-3.

Mid-Atlantic will face Southeast on Monday at 4 p.m. and West will play New England on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m.