Northwest NEWS

August 17, 1998


Woodinville champs remain unbeaten


All-Stars stun Idaho in ten innings

   by Steve Sego
   The Woodinville West Little League All Star team prevailed in a game touted as the best contest to date in the Western US Regional Tournament in San Bernardino, CA.
   The Washington State Little League champs beat East Boise, Idaho in extra innings last Saturday night, putting all six of their runs on board in the top of the tenth inning.
   Matt Tuiasosopo pitched nine innings, the maximum allowed a pitcher and gave up only two hits while striking out seventeen Idaho batters.
   The score was even at 0 after nine, however Idaho's Kurt Dykstra worked out of jam after jam in the late going. Washington had plenty of chances but left men on in most of the extra innings.
   Tuiasosopo finally stepped up to support his sterling outing on the mound, driving a two strike bases-loaded fast ball over the Idaho State flag fluttering in center field.
   The grand slam in the top of the tenth innning was estimated to have traveled more than three hundred feet. Four runs scored.
   Woodinville catcher Joey Dunn added a two-run blast of his own over the center field fence, ending Idaho's chance for any late game heroics.
   "What a night; what a game," said Woodinville manager, Mike Lentz, following the victory. "These boys played beyond their years tonight, hanging in inning after inning, believing they could win. I know they're tired because I'm exhausted, and I just watched."

   Woodinville made clutch defensive plays whenever Idaho threatened.
   "It's tough to see anyone lose in a game like this," Woodinville coach John Welker said. "Idaho played as hard as we did, but we finally got the big break in the last inning."
   Woodinville's Darren Pohl gave up a meaningless two out homer in the bottom of the tenth, accounting for Idaho's only three runs.
   Pohl finished strong, however, striking out one and putting the ball in play to let the tough Woodinville defense do its job.
   Woodinville is now the only unbeaten team in its pool and will face a team out of the loser bracket Tuesday, Aug. 18.
   If they win that game, they will play on Thursday for the Western Region US Little League Championship in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.
   A victory there would earn them a Friday morning flight to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to play in the Little League World Series.
   In a re-cap of their games last week, Woodinville West opened the tourney with 6-0 win over Laramie, Wyoming on Tuesday.
   Tuiasosopo threw six innings, fanning 14 and giving up one hit.
   Offensively, Brett Bochsler added a two RBI single and Tuiasosopo went two for two with a triple.
   Facing a team from Paradise Valley (Las Vegas), Nevada last Thursday evening, the Washington Little Leaguers added a solid 5-1 victory and sustained the momentum that began with their first tournament game four weeks ago.
   Andy Lentz threw 4 1/3 solid innings giving up a stingy two hits.
   Duke Welker earned the save, quieting the Nevada bats over the final five outs.
   In addition to Lentz and Welker, the team is coached by Glenn Phillips.
   Nearly sixty family members, friends and fans have followed the team to San Bernardino.
   The twelve man roster, selected from the ten teams in the Woodinville West League, includes Andy Lentz, Duke Welker, Matt Tuiasosopo, Kramer Phillips, Joey Dunn, Bret Bochsler, Darren Pohl, Hans Stolz, Cory Nicol, Joey Stivala, Andrew Sego and Joe Thornley.