TENINO — Montesano needed one more game than it thought it would, but the District III 12U Majors title is staying in East County.
Going up against a motivated Centralia squad, Montesano fell, 6-3, in the first district title game at Tenino City Park on Saturday. After a break and a chance to rehydrate, Montesano recharged its offense to thump Centralia, 10-0, in the winner-take-all game for the district title.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, Montesano will travel to Federal Way National Little League to begin the Washington State 12U Majors Tournament. Last year, Montesano’s 12U squad qualified for state by beating Elma in the district title game.
“After the first game, we knew it was an elimination game,” Montesano 12U majors manager Doug Ames said. “Unfortunately, we’ve done this before last year in the district 11U tournament. But, we came back to win that one. We reminded the kids of that. Many of the kids on this team were there last year and they’ve been in this position before. We know how to come back from this. They were motivated.”
Montesano 10, Centralia 0
Montesano scored first in both games, but Centralia roared back in the opener to take the momentum away. In the second game, Montesano never relinquished its good start.
With two on and no outs in the top of the first, Montesano got a two-run single from Jayden McElravy for a quick 2-0 lead. Centralia swiftly got out of the inning, but Monte struck again in the third.
Josh Wills led off the third with a sprinting triple to right field, then trotted home when McElravy took the first pitch he saw and deposited it over the right-field fence for a 4-0 lead. Again, Centralia calmed down and got out of the inning, but the momentum was squarely in Montesano’s dugout.
In the fourth, Montesano sent 11 batters to the plate. Monte loaded the bases to start, then Wills’ infield RBI single started the scoring. McElravy hit a sacrifice fly RBI at 6-0, then a two-run infield error made it 8-0 with just one out. Another run came home on an outfield error, then Jacob Salstrom’s RBI double made it 10-0.
Donovan Anthony took care of the rest on the mound. After stranding three runners in scoring position in the first two innings, Anthony had a 1-2-3 third inning and an easy bottom of the fourth to seal the game via the 10-run mercy rule. Anthony struck out five, walked two and scattered four hits for the shutout win.
Wills and McElravy each finished with two hits, with McElravy driving in five runs, to lead Montesano at the plate.
Centralia 6, Montesano 3
McElravy, Montesano’s pitching ace, took the mound in the first game and Centralia played its best game of the tournament against him and Montesano.
After Jackson Busz’s RBI single in the top of the first inning, Centralia bided its time to catch McElravy. It did in the third — four straight lead-off hits accounted for a four-run frame — for a 4-1 lead. Broc Ruele started with a single, followed by a single from Jimena Luis and an RBI double by Kyler Lovato. Moshie Eport made it 4-1 when he blasted a three-run home run to left-center field.
Centralia could have posted more in the frame, but baserunning errors ended the threat.
On the mound, Tristan Percival had Montesano’s bats quiet and ineffective. The crafty left-handed pitcher finished after four innings with the lead, striking out nine, walking four and scattering three hits.
In the fourth, Montesano loaded the bases on Percival and got an RBI walk by Kaleb Ames at 4-2. However, Monte also ran itself out of the threat, leaving two runners stranded.
Percival then clinched the first game by hitting his first career home run, a two-run shot over the right-field fence for a 6-2 lead. Relief pitchers Ruele and Ethan Estrada escaped a possible late-game rally in the fifth that ended with the bases loaded and a hard line-drive shot from McElravy snagged by left fielder Gabe Seymore at the fence.
Montesano 100 101 — 3 4 1Centralia 004 02x — 6 8 1
McElravy, Da. Anthony (5) and Da. Anthony, Busz (3); Percival, Ruele (5), Estrada (6) and Terry.
Montesano 202 6 — 10 8 0Centralia 000 0 — 0 2 2
Do. Anthony and Da. Anthony; Jenkins, Guerrero (1), Seymore (4) and Terry.