SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — After erasing early deficits in its first two games, the Pacific Little League team decided to try something new Monday night.
The Pacific All-Stars jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first inning and held off an Idaho team from Lewiston to win 5-2 and remain unbeaten at the Northwest Little League World Series Regional at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif.
The victory guaranteed the team from Washington a berth in the regional semifinals on Thursday.
“It was nice (to get the early lead),” said Pacific manager Robley Corsi, Jr. “We haven’t been able to do that this whole tournament. It was nice to get out there and get things going.”
In their third game at the regional tournament Pacific, which features players from Lynnwood, Edmonds and unincorporated Snohomish County, led the whole way. Starting pitcher Tyler Durbin helped himself out with a two-run single in the top of the first inning. The Pacific All-Stars added one run in the third, on an RBI single by Ian Michael, and two more in the fifth.
With the win, Pacific all but locked up the No. 1 seed in the knockout round.
“It clinches a spot for us,” Corsi said. “It pretty much clinches the No. 1 seed too. A bunch of weird things will have to happen for us to not get it.”
The Northwest regional includes teams from Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and Washington. The top four teams from the pool play advance to the single-elimination regional semifinals at either 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. on Thursday, with the winners of those games playing in the championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Pacific, which is 3-0 at the tournament, faces Wyoming at 7 p.m. Tuesday in its final opening round game. Still, Corsi said the Pacific All-Stars are hoping to come out swinging against the team from Cody, Wyo.
“We’re going to approach it the same way,” Corsi said. “We want to keep the train rolling and win this thing out.”
Most importantly, the players from Washington are going to continue to enjoy themselves in Southern California.
“We’re having fun,” Corsi said. “We’re not here for strictly business. We’re going to a movie tomorrow. We just kind of take this stuff as it comes. Baseball is important, winning is important but you’ve got to have a lot of fun. And the kids are having a blast.”