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Nobach HR gives Mville National tourney-opener
MUKILTEO A three-run homer by catcher Kyle Nobach carried the Marysville National League All-Stars to a 6-2 win over the Stilly Valley All-Stars June 30.
Stilly Valley struck first blood as shortstop Aaron Spring turned an errant pitch and two errors into a first-inning run, but momentum started to shift toward the Marysville National team as they answered with a run of their own in the top of the second inning by outfielder Dylan Miller.
Millers double was converted in the next at bat by right fielder Tyler Wade.
A catchers instincts might explain Kayce Walkers double play in the bottom of the third that helped shift the games energy toward Marysville National. Walker, who caught during the regular Little League season for Walkers Coffee Company, caught a line drive at first base that looked bound for deep right field.
Stilly Valley outfielder Will Pierce, who had hit a single just a bat before, found himself out a moment later as Walker tagged first.
The top of the fourth seemed an unlikely time for a Marysville National offensive explosion. Stilly Valley pitcher Tyler McDonald had struck out Marysvilles Miller.
McDonalds pitch hit batter Austin Davis, but he rebounded with a strikeout of shortstop Austin Valadez. The inning seemed sapped of potential.
Marysvilles Colin Sanders had a single to keep the inning alive, when Nobach came up to bat.
Although runless, Nobach was already 2-for-2. The slugger saw his pitch and made contact. The ball flew to center-right and over the fence.
The homer proved to be the game winner and, as the Marysville runners rounded the bases, manager Judd Luton congratulated Sanders who had played for him on Power Alley during the regular Little League season.
This happened because of you, Luton told his player, whose single brought the lineup back around to leadoff hitter Nobach.
Andrew Bean tried to close the three-run gap for Stilly Valley in the bottom of the fifth. He led off the inning with a single and was joined on base by teammate Adam Opplinger in the next at bat.
Successive outs for teammates Zack Keefe and Spring didnt stop Bean from scoring, but Opplinger was unable to replicate his teammates success, getting the third out going for third base.
Midway through the fifth inning, second baseman Bryce Minnich relieved pitcher Jake Luton on the mound for Marysville, and National fans in the know started counting Minnichs pitches.
After five innings, Lutons pitch count rendered him ineligible to pitch the next game, but Minnich would be allowed 20 pitches before he would be forced to sit out the next day as well.
Into the sixth inning, it appeared Minnich might be able to finish the game for Marysville. After hitting Stilly Valley third baseman Brandon Stott, Minnich struck out McDonald and first baseman Jarrod Jones and seemed poised to get his third out against Connor Morgison.
Minnich came up a couple pitches short, and Nobach finished the game for Marysville.
Luton finished the game with six strikeouts in five innings and Minnich had two in his 20 pitches.
The win pitted Marysville National against a notoriously difficult Mill Creek program, who defeated them 10-0 July 1.
Marysville National faced South Snohomish July 3 after The Globe went to press.
At Mukilteo Little League Complex
Marysville National 0 1 0 3 0 2 6
Stilly Valley 1 0 0 0 1 0 2