Yankees, Pirates battle for BILL title

Rockies pitcher Robby Ackerley throws during Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks.  - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
Rockies pitcher Robby Ackerley throws during Saturday’s game against the Diamondbacks.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

Softball, Babe Ruth titles will be decided as well as play wraps up this week on island diamonds.

After three and a half months of play, the Bainbridge Island Little League Majors are one game away from declaring their champion of the island.

Two teams – the Yankees and Pirates – will play tomorrow at Lower Rotary Field at 6 p.m. for the title thanks to their victories on Monday.

Pirates pitcher Andrew Hunt threw three innings against the Diamondbacks and gave up just one run, while going 3 for 3 with three RBIs and one run.

Diamondbacks pitcher Michael Crowley struck out five in the three innings he pitched, but gave up two runs.

The Diamondbacks had a chance to go ahead in the fourth with the bases loaded, but Daniel Garber pitched out of the jam.

He threw two innings in relief and went 3 for 3 at the plate.

The Pirates added onto their lead with three runs in the fifth, including sacrifice bunts by Campbell Queen and Matt Stone and an RBI single by Austin Harper.

Adam Pool closed the game out for the Pirates. He made a great double play by diving for an infield pop fly and doubling a Diamondback runner off of first.

Bryce MacDonald reached base in all of his plate appearances for the Diamondbacks.

“Both teams played well in a game that was closer than the final score,” Pirates head coach Bill Harper said.

The Yankees made it to the finals thanks to their close 2-1 victory over the Mariners.

Both National League teams made it with victories over teams on Saturday that were heavily favored to make it to the finals.

The Diamondbacks earned their way to Monday’s semifinal with an 8-7 come-from-behind win over the Rockies, who had just one loss on the season.

Both teams held each other scoreless until the third, when the Rockies broke out for six runs on seven hits.

The Diamondbacks fought back inning by inning, as Jacob Christensen hit a two-run homer in the fourth. They scored another run in the fifth, then made their big comeback in the sixth, thanks to two walks and a single by Ben Kussie that loaded the bases.

Christensen then stepped up and drove a pitch into the leftfield corner for a bases clearing double to put the Diamondbacks up by one.

The Rockies tried to recover, but Duncan Newland-Thompson held them to just one hit to hold off any attempt at a rally.

Steven Wellbrock threw three innings of shut-out ball, facing only 10 batters.

“The game was truly a team effort,” Diamondback head coach Bill Christensen said of Saturday’s game. “There were a lot of patient at-bats.”

It was the first victory over the 19-1 Rockies, who won two close games over the Diamondbacks in regular season play.

The Pirates had their own demons to slay in the Cardinals, who eliminated the Pirates from the playoffs in 2004 and have won every meeting since.

Hunt helped to end that run with an RBI double in the first. He also stole third and home to put another run on the board.

He drove in two more runs and threw three innings of shutout ball as well, getting help from his defense and Daniel Garber, who pitched the last two innings of the game in relief.

Nick Bierly scored the only run for the Cardinal with an RBI double in the fifth.

“Both teams played with great heart and respect for each other,” Harper said of Saturday’s game. “These two teams have a great rivalry and always enjoy playing each other.”

The Yankees and Mariners made it to the semifinals by defeating the Tigers and the Athletics, respectively.

The Commotion and the Diamonds will face off for the softball championship today at 6 p.m. at Strawberry Field.

The Rockies and the Tigers will play for the AAA championship today at Lower Rotary at 6 p.m. and will be precluded by a home-run derby by the 12-year-olds at 4:30 p.m.

The Bainbridge Island Babe Ruth league is also in the process of deciding their champion, with playoffs going until tomorrow.

Bainbridge Auto Center narrowly avoided the upset Monday as they outlasted Stewart Title 9-8.

The number one seed in the tournament, Bainbridge Auto Center fell behind 8-3 thanks to six errors and timely hitting by Stewart Title.

Jake Estes went the entire seven innings for Stewart Title, throwing 123 pitches and striking out nine.

Auto Center pitcher Steffen Dacquisto was relieved by Jordan Gaphni in the second inning and he, along with Mitch Main, held Stewart Title scoreless for the rest of the game.

That enabled Bainbridge Auto Center to post a comeback, scoring four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh for the win.

Kafer Construction moved into the second round with a 9-1 win over Bainbridge Bakery.

Kiyle Playter contributed on the mound and at the plate and even turned a triple play in the sixth inning.

The Babe Ruth playoffs continue today, as the two semifinal games are at 6 p.m. at Sands Field and Bainbridge High School.

The championship game is tomorrow at Sands Field at 6 p.m.

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