The Montesano 10-and-under Little League All-Star team advanced to the championship round of the District 3 Tournament with a nail-biting 4-3 victory over Larch Mountain on Tuesday in Aberdeen.
Montesano took a 4-1 lead with a three-run fifth inning, scoring runs on an Arik Barnes double and consecutive RBI singles by Madden Maruska and Jacob Dalgord.
Larch Mountain, which defeated Willapa Harbor 10-9 in the second round on Sunday, rallied in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs to pull to within 4-3.
With two outs and the tying run on third base, Austin Maldonado struck out the final batter to secure the Montesano victory and a berth in the championship round on Thursday.
Montesano was led by Dalgord, who went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI.
Three Montesano pitchers combined to toss a three-hit gem, with Trey Gunter starting and getting a no decision, going 4 1/3 innings with one earned run, one hit, four walks and eight strikeouts.
Maruska allowed an earned run on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of relief with Maldonado entering to get the final out.
Montesano advances to Thursday’s championship round and needs to win just one of two games to claim the district title.
Monte will face the winner of a Larch Mountain-Chehalis elimination game that is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
District 3 8-10 Tournament scores
Monday, July 11
Chehalis 17, Elma 10
Capitol 17, Willapa Harbor 0 (4 innings)
Tuesday, July 12
Chehalis 15, Capitol 9