Eel River 11s bounce back to clinch District championship

Submitted photo – The Eel River All-Stars celebrate their win on Thursday.

The Eel River 11-year-old Little League All-Stars were crowned District 26 champs on Thursday night, after coming from behind twice to defeat Redwood Empire 12-6 in Fortuna.

The Eel River players had to overcome early deficits of 2-0 and 5-4 on their way to victory, but they got going with four runs in each of the second and third innings and never looked back.

The victory was also achieved just 24 hours after they lost 9-3 to RELL to force a winner-takes-all matchup for the District title.

And several players stepped up in the win, as they responded well after Wednesday’s defeat.

“It was really a good team effort,” head coach Brandon Long said.

The District championship was the first for the Eel River 11s since 2012.

Pitching played a key role in the tournament championship, with starters Karson Lodes, Teyler Bailey and Mason Long all impressing on the mound this week.

Likewise with Tegan Dalton, who stepped up in relief in some key moments.

And they weren’t the only standouts.

Easton Essig had a big week at the plate in his first season playing baseball and also made some big plays at third base and in left field.

Submitted photo – The Redwood Empire All-Stars

Miles Sirrine also had a big week in center field and came up some key hits, while Ryker Renner was outstanding all week in the lead-off spot.

“He’s a little speed demon and he just killed it,” the head coach said of Renner.

Overall, it was a good week for the Eel River players, who came together as a team well.

“I just like how well they listen and how well they play together,” Brandon Long said. “They all have a great attitude, and they were pretty coachable.”

The Eel River All-Stars will now advance to the Area tournament, which they will host, beginning July 15.

The roster also includes Kayden Crawford, Kyler Huessler, Ryder Cree, Carson McGinnis, Jarren Biodini and Jayce Robinson.

Submitted photos

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