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Stilly Valley juniors bring home first boys all-star championship in 20 years
ARLINGTON — The Stilly Valley juniors baseball team defeated Pacific in a game worthy of the all-star tournament's district championship.
In an epic four-hour, lights-out game on July 7, Stilly Valley earned the right to represent the first district at the state tournament in Yakima by defeating the Pacific all-stars 18-9 at Evans Field in Arlington.
"This is the first championship for the boys division in 20 years," said manager Bobby Collins. "This town is hungry for it."
Both starting pitchers took an inning or so to warm up their arms. Going through seven batters in the top of the first inning, Stilly Valley walked three times including the first run and three more saw at least two balls before putting the ball in play. Southpaw Brayden Burbee walked three in the first inning and Pacific took a 4-2 lead before the defense tightened up.
Stilly Valley added four runs in the second and third innings, patiently waiting out the Pacific starter, who walked six more before being relieved in the third inning. Nevertheless, Stilly Valley ran the bases aggressively, Drew Earnheart stealing home for the first run in the second inning. Catcher Ryan Walker had a two-run single to center field, stealing the next three bases to give his team a 6-2 lead after two innings.
Dalton Nield led off with a center-field double in the third and Burbee hit a three-run double to make it 10-2 after three innings.
Pacific battled back, scoring in the fourth and fifth innings to close within five runs. With one out and two runs scored, the lights on the field suddenly went out.
The Stilly Valley dugout took the opportunity to go over some basics and clean up their game. Coming back after a 20-minute delay, relief pitcher Walker struck out the next two. Three clutch hits by Pacific in the sixth inning would give the Edmonds-area team two more runs, but Walker struck out the next six as Stilly Valley added six more runs in the top of the sixth and seventh to secure the win.
Burbee and Bradley Mosalsky were each 3-for-6 at the plate, walking the other three times. Josh Schempp scored four runs for Stilly Valley and Walker had four RBI.
"We just showed up, played hard and took it to them," Collins said.
With the win, the boys advance to the state tournament in Yakima, which begins July 25. When the tournament bracket is posted, it will be available at the Washington State Little League website. Click on Tournaments in the left column.
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