McKinleyville 10s win a thriller, get set to host state tournament

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – McKinleyville catcher Crew Hicks prevents a wild pitch from getting by him during Wednesday’s Section Tournament championship game at Hiller Park.

By Ray Hamill — The McKinleyville 10U All-Stars will play for a state championship on their own field this weekend after a thrilling 16-8 win over Chico Central at Hiller Park in the Section Tournament final on Wednesday night.

It took a couple of late rallies and extra innings to separate the two teams, who were playing each other for the third time this week, but McKinleyville took control of a tight game with nine runs in the top of the eighth.

Remarkably, the victory handed McKinleyville Little League a third Section Tournament championship in just three days, with the 10Us following the Mack 12s and Junior All-Stars, who clinched their championships on the road on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

All three teams will now play for a state championship.

And like the Juniors, the Mack 10Us had to battle back through the losers’ bracket to secure the section crown, winning three straight elimination games after losing to Chico Central on Sunday.

There were several big performances in Wednesday’s win, including pitchers Tatum Brock and Tyus Scofield.

Chico got off to a fast start and took a two-run lead in the bottom of the first, but Brock and his defense quickly settled down after that and the starting pitcher had back-to-back three-up, three-down innings after striking out five of the next six batters he faced.

McKinleyville took the lead with four runs in the top of the third, all of them coming on a two-out rally.

The speedy Caydee Carper got the party started with a base hit, barely beating out the tag at first base.

It turned out to be one of the most important plays of the night, and if the Chico All-Stars had gotten out of that inning unscathed the game could very well have taken a very different path.

Braden Tullis followed that with a walk and Mack would then load the bases on a Casanova Marshall base hit.

The next batter was Colton Hawkes and he delivered big time with a bases-clearing triple despite a great effort on the play from the Chico right fielder.

Brock then drove home Hawkes on a single to make it 4-2 McKinleyville.

The Mack All-Stars were just getting started and they would add another run on a Rowdy Furber double in the fourth that scored the consistent Cooper Jones, who finished the game 3-for-3 and also reached base on a hit by pitch.

Check out video highlights of Colton Hawkes’ bases-clearing triple …

But the visitors would not go down easily and scored five runs over the next two innings to re-take a two-run advantage going into the sixth.

With their backs to the wall, however, the young McKinleyville players answered again in emphatic fashion, scoring twice to force the extra innings.

Brock got on base with a lead-off walk and he reached home plate moments later on a Crew Hicks triple.

Hicks then scored the tying run on Jones’ third single of the day, before an impressive double play by Chico ended the inning.

Scofield quickly settled in on the mound and just one Chico batter would reach base in the sixth and seventh innings combined.

The Mack offense then exploded for nine runs in the top of the eighth on four base hits and four hit batsmen.

Tullis had an RBI single to give Mack the lead, before Hawkes added an RBI double.

A few minutes later, with the game getting away from Chico, Hicks hit a two-RBI double to give McKinleyville a 13-7 lead.

Furber, who finished the game 3-for-4, then added another RBI single.

In addition to the three hits each from Jones and Furber, the trio of Tullis, Hawkes and Hicks each had two hits and Marshall, Brock, Carper and Reylan Benge each also had a hit.

Bo Battilochi also had some good at-bats, as did Reece Combs, who also drove in a late run.

The state tournament will be played at Hiller Park, with the action getting under way this weekend.

1 reply »

  1. Evidence of the players and coaches committed to excellence, of course, parents on board too.

    Just amazing regional effort from McKinleyville athletics…

    [“Remarkably, the victory handed McKinleyville Little League a third Section Tournament championship in just three days, …” ]

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