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National All-Stars win defensive duel
LYNNWOOD In one of the tournament's closest games of opening day, the Marysville National All-Star team defeated the Alderwood All-Stars in a pitching duel, 4-1.
A commanding two-hitter performance from pitcher Jake Luton in the June 28 tournament opener helped Marysville stay on top after building an early 3-0 lead. Luton threw 14 strikeouts. However, in Alderwood's Coz Costello, the Nationals faced what appeared to be another one of the tournament's top pitchers, who struck out 11.
Marysville got some early hits against Costello, earning a lead Alderwood would never overcome. K.J. Brady and Kyle Garton ripped off consecutive hits to lead off the in the bottom of the first. Cleanup batter Alec Bargmeyer added a single of his own, while a deep hit by Beau Wells brought in runs from Garton and Bargmeyer to put Marysville on the board.
An error put T.J. Rice on base leading off in the second and his pinch hitter Matthew Ness advanced around on pass balls to score, despite an absence of hits to bring him in.
After two Luton strikeouts in the top of the third, Alderwood rallied, putting two players on base and scoring one on a single by Costello. Luton stranded the other two on base with a third strikeout.
While the run may have put nerves in some Marysville fans, the Nationals clamped down defensively, seeing only two more opponents on base an error and a fielder's choice. The offense reenergized in the bottom of the fifth, the last inning they'd bat.
Brady got his second single in three at-bats, finding home on a double by Garton in the next turn at the plate. Down two strikes, Garton buried the ball deep in right field, just inches from the foul line. He and Bargmeyer were also 2-for-3 thanks to fifth-inning hits.
Although the Nationals outhit Alderwood to secure the win, manager Judd Luton said he hopes to see more bats in future games, and reflected on Ness' score on the pass ball.
"That's a horrible way to lose," he said. "It's OK, having won that way. I'd rather win on hits."
"Once we strike that balance, we'll be good," he added.