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Stilly Valley sends two to minors tournament quarterfinals
MILL CREEK — Both Stilly Valley Little League teams advanced out of pool play to qualify for the single-elimination bracket in the Mill Creek minors tournament.
With an 11-2 win over Mill Creek West on June 20, the Stilly Valley Bombers won what might have been their biggest morale victory of the tournament.
“Mill Creek having gone to the Little League World Series, we always get a little nervous,” said manager Bob Bergley.
Despite trailing 1-0 after the first inning, Stilly Valley proved their solid hitting and smart base running skills by bouncing back with two runs in the first inning. Mill Creek rallied with an inside the park home run in the top of the third inning, but Stilly Valley pitcher Isaiah Raether mixed up his pitches and foiled Mill Creek for the better part of the game. They would not score again.
That wouldn’t be the case for Stilly Valley, which added another run in the bottom of the third, as a Mill Creek throwing error cost the defense an out at first base and a run by Cameron Ferreira. In the fourth inning, Stilly Valley continued to extract runs from Mill Creek errors, scoring six more runs. Brandon Tucker scored the first of the six, taking home on a wild pitch. Jake Russell batted in two more with a single. He and Drew Bryson scored home on a two-run double by Ferreira. Another pass ball gave the slugger his second run of the game.
Raether and Brandon Tucker both scored in the fifth inning, but the boys fell an out short of 10-running Mill Creek, instead closing out the game in the top of the sixth.
Raether pitched a complete game for Stilly Valley, including three of his 10 strikeouts coming in the sixth inning to prevent a Mill Creek rally.
The game was neither Stilly Valley’s narrowest nor widest margin of victory.
For the distinction of the narrowest win, one need only look the day before as Stilly Valley rallied to defeat Mukilteo 8-7.
“We were down by seven runs and came back to win,” said Bergley, who added that the team’s key to victory was never giving up. “They were always in it. They believed in themselves and we believed in them.”
The Bombers improved to 3-0 with a 21-11 win over South Everett.
With the tournament’s No. 4 seed, they played the Pacific Rebels June 23 after the Globe and Times went to press. The tournament bracket is updated often and available online at http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=rdXj2x1MkOIhF80Z1OgC_iA.
Stilly Valley No. 2 earns minor
Bouncing back from a 13-6 loss to Pacific No. 2, the second Stilly Valley minors team earned a No. 7 seed into the minors tournament.
The boys won their next two games, beating Stanwood Camano 14-4 on June 20 and North Snohomish 12-2 on June 21 to qualify for the elimination bracket.
They earned a first-round game against South Snohomish on June 24 at 5 p.m. at Freedom Field in Mill Creek. The winner advances to the semifinals. If both Stilly Valley teams win, they’ll play each other for a chance at the tournament championship.
Marysville teams eliminated from minors tournament
Both Marysville teams bumped up against some tough teams in the minors tournament at Mill Creek, failing to qualify out of their pools for the elimination bracket.
The Marysville Americans wound up 0-3. They fell 10-5 to Pacific Big Blue in their tournament opener June 17 and trailed by two runs in their next two losses when the game ended. They fell 5-3 to South Everett No. 2 and 9-7 to South Snohomish, their pool’s undefeated team.
The Marysville Nationals won one game, defeating North Everett 15-1. But they lost their first two, 11-3 to tournament No. 1 seed Mill Creek East on June 19 and 6-2 to the Pacific Rebels, both of whom advance to the bracket.