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Auburn All-Stars beat Idaho 13-3 for Northwest Regional title, move on to Little League World Series | Little League
It's off to Williamsport for the Northwest Region Champion Auburn Little League 12U All-Stars. The Washington State champs earned a spot at the Little League World Series - beginning Friday in Pennsylvania - with a 13-3, four-inning win over the Idaho state champs from North Boise, tonight in San Bernardino, Calif.
It didn’t take long for Auburn to put it’s stamp on the game, with the squad posting five runs in the first inning. Three of them came courtesy a Casey Manning double to the right field gap.
After giving up two-runs in the bottom of the second, Auburn posted two more runs in the second inning, with Dillon O’Grady driving home Tyler Tan and Manning adding another RBI on a single.
Auburn allowed Boise another run in the bottom of the second, before slamming the door with six runs in the third.
With a 10-run rule win imminent, relief pitcher Isaiah Hatch dashed any lingering hopes of a comeback by Idaho with a 1-2-3, three-strikeout inning in the fourth.
Manning earned the win on the mound.
“It’s unbelievable I’m kind of numb right now,” Coach Kai Nahaku said. “I always know we’re going to put up a fight. They’ve worked hard and put themselves in to a good position physically. It’s really just a mental battle. But they’re peaking at the right time and gelling as a team.”
The win caps a perfect 6-0 record for Auburn at the regionals, including four wins courtesy the 10-run mercy rule, which awards the win to a team leading by more than 10 runs after four innings.
Nahaku said the key to the team’s success at the Northwest regionals remains the same as it’s been since they began the journey at the District 10 tourney last month.
“Once again we won the way we have been winning,” he said. “There is no one big bat, it’s spread around.”
Now the team will travel to Williamsport, Pa. for a 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time contest against the New England Regional champs from Fairfield, Conn.
Nahaku said the team will stay in California until Tuesday morning, when they will fly out at 3 a.m. to Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series.
“I’m just dealing with the logistics now,” Nahaku said.
This year’s squad is the first Auburn team to qualify for the Little League World Series. The team is the third straight Washington State champ to win regionals and move on the series.
“The kids are ready for the challenge,” Nahaku said.