Sports

Little Leaguers are 3-0 in tournament play

"SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- After Tuesday night, the idea of Bainbridge Island playing in the Little League World Series no longer sounds like some sort of goofy pie-in-the-sky fantasy.That's because, with the Bainbridge All-Stars' 6-5 extra-innings stunner win over Academy of Colorado Springs, Colo., the team, at 3-0, has almost certainly earned enough points in pool-play competition to advance to the four-team semifinal round of the 14-team Western Region Little League Tournament. Two of those teams will win berths early next week into the World Series in Williamsport, Pa.The Bainbridge players put themselves in prime position for that elite round by keeping their composure after squandering a 4-0 lead. Ace Robbie Stevenson, who gave up three-run and solo home runs to Academy in the fourth and fifth innings, got out of a bottom-of-the-sixth jam with runners at second and third by striking out the next batter.Bainbridge then got back two runs in the extra seventh inning when leadoff walks by Peter Huisinga and Jesse Colkitt came back to haunt Academy pitcher Mike Fletcher. A wild pitch moved up the runners, then Peter Leslie's textbook first-baseline bunt plated Huisinga for the go-ahead score. Colkitt came in moments later on a passed ball.Relief pitcher Nash Hensen gave up leadoff singles to Academy's first two hitters in the bottom of the seventh, and yielded a run on a botched fielder's choice attempt at home plate, but settled down with one out and runners on second and third by striking out Academy's Joe Karlik and inducing Jordan Vaughn to ground out to Leslie -- triggering wild celebrations in the stands and on the field.Bainbridge's early offense was supplied by a two-run home run by Coby Gibler and a run-scoring single from Taurean Yamada. Hensen also supplied three singles.This was a huge, huge game, Bainbridge Manager Don French said. It was just a gritty, gutty performance by the guys out there. There's probably no way we're not in the finals now. "

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