About the only thing more exciting than a walk-off win in baseball is two of them on the same day.
And that’s what happened at the Redwood Fields in Cutten on Sunday, in the semifinal round of an entertaining district Little League Tournament of Champions.
Arcata’s Barnes team got the better of an enthusiastic Klamath Trinity squad in the first game, winning 7-6, while Redwood Empire Little League No. 1 (Athletics) beat McKinleyville’s Murphy’s Markets 6-5 in wet conditions in the second semifinal.
Arcata had to battle back from an early five-run deficit, scoring five runs in the second inning to pull even.
With the two teams tied at 6-6 going into the bottom of the sixth and final inning, Arcata’s Gavin Anderson had a lead-off base hit and made it all the way around to home plate for the winning run.
Arcata’s Jake Bertell and Klamath Trinity’s Noah Platt both pitched very well for their teams and each of them went deep into the game.
KT’s Silven Yoder sparked the fast start for his team when he made it all the way around the bases on a base hit that scored three runs.
Owen Smith also had a highlight moment for KT, making a spectacular diving catch in center field.
In the second semifinal, meanwhile, RELL had to overcome a late 5-4 deficit for the thrilling victory.
Wyatt Zeller hit a double to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning, and made it all the way around the bases to score the tying run.
Matt Pleasant then walked and stole his way to second base before being driven home for the game-winning score on a double by Towsend Theobald, who was mobbed by his teammates in celebration at second base.
RELL’s Evan Eagle and McKinleyville’s Bode Reininger both had strong games on the mound in what was a great pitchers’ duel.
Eagle got plenty of help from an outstanding RELL defense, with several players stepping up in the win.
Among the highlights from the game was a bases-clearing triple by RELL’s Braden Bermers, as well as Cody Wilson’s two-run home run to straightaway center for Mack.
McKinleyville’s Connor Tatman also had a great catch in the outfield, somehow making the play despite slipping in the wet conditions.
A young Mack team, which features only three 12-year-olds and has six players aged 10 or younger, had won 14 straight games coming into the showdown.
The three-day tournament concludes with the championship game on Monday evening at 6 p.m.