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Tigers win AAA championship

| June 20, 2023 1:00 AM

The Sandpoint Little League’s Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Tigers defeated the State Farm Insurance Agent Michael Wold Braves 13-12 in the AAA (9-10 years old) division championship on Thursday, May 8 at Little Pine Field.

Earlier that week, both teams won their semi-finals matches in the final inning to qualify for the championship. The Tigers defeated the Peak Sand and Gravel Phillies and the Braves defeated the Mountain West Bank Dodgers.

Early in the championship game, the Braves exploded for five runs in the first inning, but that did not phase the Tigers who scored three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. The stage was set for what proved to be a back-and-forth thriller.

Gabe Otis started the game on the mound for the Tigers and was dialed in, striking out seven batters over four innings of work. The Tigers would go to the bullpen in the fifth inning; bringing in Beau Cates who would eventually close out the game.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Tigers were up by two runs and just three outs away from a title, but the Braves’ bats came alive once again. The Braves’ rally was led by Ryle

McReynolds with a hard-hit single that drove in two runs. The Braves would score four runs in the inning to take the lead 12-10.

The Tigers, who have defied the odds all year, were able to come from behind and pull out a victory. Dominik Watson started off the inning with a walk which was followed by a single from Rowin MacDonald. Both Watson and MacDonald would then come around to score on a fielder’s choice by Colby DaVault tying the game 12-12. Bryant Hansen was then able to reach base via a walk; Hansen would eventually steal second base. Solomon Mort, with one out and a 2-1 count, hit a line drive to right center field, driving in Hansen and the winning run.

“I’m super proud of these young men,” head coach Justin Watson said. “I want to thank our sponsor, Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, our parents, and the league for facilitating a wonderful season these guys will always remember.”