LITTLE LEAGUE MAJORS BASEBALL - Yankees win thriller over Pirates

The Yankees celebrate with the trophy after their 3-2 win over the Pirates in the Bainbridge Island Little League Majors championship. - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
The Yankees celebrate with the trophy after their 3-2 win over the Pirates in the Bainbridge Island Little League Majors championship.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

Sam Orrey drove in the winning run in the seventh.

It was only fitting that the best game of the season came in the last game of the season.

The Yankees declared themselves the better team, as they won a 3-2 thriller over the Pirates in the Bainbridge Island Little League Majors championship game Thursday at Lower Rotary Field in front of a overtly vocal crowd.

“My boys played awesome,” first-year Yankees manager Doug McCombs said. “They hung in there, they didn’t get down. Every single one of them contributed (to the win).”

The Pirates had a good opportunity to score in the first when Max Klein singled and Andrew Hunt hit a ground rule double, but Yankee pitcher Chris Bell got out of the jam.

The Yankees threatened in the third when Harrison King walked, then worked his way to third on a single and a passed ball. But Hunt struck out Bell and got catcher Henry McCombs to ground out.

Sam Orrey led off for the Yankees in the fourth with a single, then worked his way to third on passed balls, but was tagged out on a close play at home plate.

The Yankees then loaded the bases on two errors, but the Pirates got out of the jam on a nice double play turned by Hunt, who moved to shortstop when Daniel Garber took over on the mound.

In the fifth, the Yankees finally got on the board with two runs on four straight singles by Bell, McCombs, Orrey and Sam Bouillon, all with two outs.

The Pirates came back, working the Yankees for two runs to tie it up. Hunt was hit by a pitch, then advanced to third on an error and scored on a passed ball. Austin Harper drove in the tying run on a high chopper that went for an infield hit.

But the Yankees responded with Nico Lucioni reaching second base on a throwing error in the seventh.

Pool came in to pitch and got Bell to pop out and McCombs to ground out, but Lucioni took third on the play. Orrey stepped up and ripped a shot into center field to score Lucioni for the winning run and send the Yankees racing out of the dugout in celebration.

Pirates manager Bill Harper was upbeat despite his squad’s loss.

“(It was an) incredible baseball game (and) extraordinary ability by these kids to play so hard,” he said. “Both these teams played well. We were evenly matched teams.

“I was so impressed by the defense our kids played,” Harper said. “Then to come back and tie it up in the sixth, it was just an epic.”

The Yankees, who also won the American Division, finished their record at 15-7.

The Tigers took home the AAA title on Wednesday with a 5-4 win over the Rockies.


The Bainbridge Island Little League All-Stars were announced yesterday. The teams are:

National League 11/12 – Manager: Bill Ackerley. Players: Ryan Schreck, Nick Denney, Eric Raustein, Daniel Garber, Andrew Hunt, Robby Ackerley, Steven Wellbrock, Tyler Riely, Lars Nelson, Duncan Newland-Thompson, Ryan Sheehan, Adam Pool and Max Edenholm

National 10/11 – Manager: Jon Daniels. Players: Baxter Allen, Ricky Ackerley, Zander Silverman, Brett Green, Josh Barlet, Michael Crowley, Cory Daniels, Ian Gourley, Scott Wyman, Max Klein, Nick Bierly and Bryce MacDonald

National 9/10 – Manager: Bill Harper. Players: Austin Harper, Campbell Queen, Timmy Taylor, Spencer Hogger, Todd McCarthy, Jack Kaltreider, Ben Kussie, Wes Houser, Ben LaRoche, Jacob Shore, Garret Reily, Thomas Daniels and Nick Belforte

American League 11/12 – Manager: Doug McCombs. Players: Bryce Fredey, Chance Roebke, Chris Bell, Henry McCombs, Rion Ramirez, Caleb Samson, Rico Failla, Sam Orrey, Will Whealdon, Cameron Engstrom, Max McEwan, Sam Kallas, Ben Martin and Tony Sousa

American 10/11 – Manager: Jeff Green. Players: Max LaRoche, Cameron Brink, Thomas Jorza, Alec Griewe, Liam Griewe, Gus Green, Casey McKay, Tino Peleti, Drew Miller, Jesse Moore, Weber Coryell and Koen Klein

American 9/10 – Manager: Tim Callahan. Players: Max Schardein, Harrison King, Andrew Callahan, Collin Neale, Jack Post, Pierre LeDorze, Henry Lant, Marcus Tonsmann, Drew Dierickx, Trent Schulte, Blake Swanson, Duncan McCombs and Brice Kozlosky.

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