baseball

McKinleyville all-stars top Redwood Empire for district title

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Photos by Ray Hamill/HumboldtSports.com – McKinleyville’s Joe Tanno delivers a pitch during Thursday’s game.

A sensational year for McKinleyville baseball is showing no signs of slowing down.

On Thursday evening at the Arcata Little League Field, McKinleyville won the first of three District 26 all-star tournaments, marching through the tournament undefeated.

In the championship showdown, which was not an elimination game for them, the Mack players got the better of Redwood Empire 2-1.

The Redwood Empire players came into the contest fresh off a 10-7 win over Eel River in an elimination game on Wednesday and needed to win again to force a winner-takes-all decider on Friday.

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They almost pulled it off too, forcing their opponents to battle all the way.

The McKinleyville players, however, displayed plenty of championship poise, rallying from a one-run deficit with two late runs.

Tate Saso, who finished 2-for-2, scored on a Bode Reininger triple to tie the game, before Reininger reached home plate on a Joe Tanno infield hit to give his team the lead.

Tanno was instrumental in the win and dominated the early proceedings on the mound, striking out a remarkable 14 in just four and two-third innings.

Avery Saunders took over in relief, securing the win for McKinleyville.

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The win for the 8-9-10 all-stars follows closely on a District 26 tournament of champions decider that featured a pair of McKinleyville teams, as well as McKinleyville High School’s Big 5 championship this spring.

Next up, the District 26 Little League 9-10-11 tournament gets under way on Saturday and will be hosted by Redwood Empire.

The 10-11-12 all-star tournament will be held the following week.

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