Final Four set in All City Little League

Cox Jones, McDonald Zaring, Cummins Athletic and Tom's Chevron will play Monday in the semi-finals.

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WALLA WALLA - Regular season champions - Valley's Cox Jones and Pacific's Tom's Chevron - advanced to Monday's semi-final round of the Walla Walla City boys Little League baseball Tournament in quarter-final action here Saturday.

Cox Jones opened the day with a 10-2 win over Baker Boyer and Tom's Chevron ended the day with a 7-0 decision over Mr. Ed's.

Cox Jones will face McDonald Zaring, an 8-4 victor over Fire Department, at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Tom's will battle Cummins, a 1-0 winner over Farmer's Co-Op, in the nightcap at 7:15 p.m.

The two winners meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. for the City Championship.

Cox Jones 10, Baker Boyer 2

Andrew Feistner opened the game with a double and came around to score to put Baker Boyer on top, 1-0.

The lead was short-lived, as Cox Jones went to the long ball to quickly regain the lead and take control.

Following a J.C. Wicklund single, Noah Porter launched the first Cox Jones two-run long fly with a drive to right.

Skylar Gladden doubled and Mathew Chabre followed with a soaring drive to right center and Cox Jones led 4-1 after one.

"I'm really proud of them," Cox Jones manager Tim Boutz said. "This is the best team I've ever had. We hit the ball real well."

Dillon Courson tripled in a run and Chabre knocked in a run with a single as Cox Jones added three more in the second to run the lead to 7-1.

Cox Jones ran themselves out of a third-inning rally when Baker Boyer caught a CJ runner for missing third base, and nailed another trying to advance to third.

"We wasted an inning with poor base running," Boutz said. "If we correct a couple of base running mistakes, we'll be OK (for Monday)."

Cox Jones capped its day with three hits - singles by Courson, Porter, and Nicholas Roth - that led to three fourth-inning runs and a 10-1 lead.

Baker Boyer rallied behind Andrew Harvey's double and Donovan Romero's infield hit for a fifth-inning run, but got no closer.

Wicklund and Courson led a 14-hit Cox Jones attack with three hits each.

"They (Cox Jones) have been playing together for three years," Boutz said. "We'll just show them where they're going. I feel pretty good about it (our chances)."

MZI 8, Fire Department 4

Connor Hoeft knocked in two MZI runs in the top of the first to cap a three-run rally and give MZI a 3-0 lead.

Fire Department answered behind Josh Needham's single and Jack Dwyer's run-scoring double to narrow the MZI lead to 3-2 after one.

MZI took advantage of a walk, two FD misplays and Joshua Drivdahl's double to score three times in the third and take a commanding 6-2 lead.

Cameron Spencer ripped a run-producing double in the MZI fifth as the lead ballooned to 8-2.

Fire Department rallied behind Jacob Needham's lead-off single, and Josh Needham's triple to score twice in the home fifth to get within 8-4.

Spencer came on in relief of Nickolas Zehner (the second MZI pitcher) after Zehner had pitched 2.2 innings with his 35 pitches, and closed the door on Fire Department by striking out three of the five batters he faced.

"I was worried about the pitching because you never know what you're going to face from the other side of the city," MZI manager Steve Barker said. "It worked out better than we planned. I was only expecting to get two innings from Nick, but he has this freaky little curve ball that I don't think I can hit. Then when Cameron (Spencer) came in, I knew the door was closed. He's just lights out when he's on, and he was on."

Josh Needham and Dwyer both collected two hits for Fire Department.

Spencer with three hits and Hayden White with two paced the nine-hit MZI attack.

"We did (get some clutch hits)," Barker acknowledged. "A couple of weeks ago our kids had a little slump. We went back to basics with them and they started coming alive. They were enthusiastic (today) and played hard."

Cummins 1, Farmer's Co-Op 0

Pitching dominated as both teams combined for only three hits, and the winners were out hit 2-1.

Sometimes, it's not how many you get, but when you get them.

Alec Carrera drew a one-out walk in the Cummins fourth. Tanner Gorze followed with Cummins only hit of the game.

Gorze's double to right center chased Carrera home with the only run of the game.

"We were hoping our offense would pick up a little more than it did," Cummins manager Don Davis said. "Those (Carrera and Gorze) are a couple of 12 year olds that really deserved the win. They got us the run. Tanner really came through in the clutch."

It was all pitching except for that lone run.

Justin Olivares had Cummins blanked on no hits going to the fateful fourth. Olivares ran out of pitches (85 limit) one out short of a complete game.

Olivares allowed one run, gave up one hit, and struck out nine in the hard luck loss.

"We've scored a lot of runs all year," Davis said. "You've got to hand it to Olivares. What a good pitcher (for) an 11-year old. I don't want to face him next year."

Carrera (4.2 innings pitched) and Gorze (2.1 innings) combined to shut out Farmer's on two hits - a Mason Knowles first inning single and a Devon Oliver infield hit in the third. Carrera struck out eight and Gorze finished the game with six strike outs.

"Excellent pitching," Davis said. "Those two guys have shut people down all year. We don't have a clear cut No. 1, we've got two No. 1's. We thought Tanner could pitch our next game and pitch out (use all 85 pitches). Then we have Alec, if we make it to that final."

Tom's Chevron 7, Mr. Ed's 0

Ed's Seth Guttromson and Tom's Isaiah Standard both had shut outs and no-hitters through three innings of Saturday's finale.

Ethan Haen drew a lead off walk to start Tom's fourth. Standard followed with the first hit of the game. Mitchell Lesmeister would add a single and in between Tom's ran the bases aggressively and took advantage of errant pitches and five walks to score four times on those two hits and take control with a 4-0 lead.

"A real pitcher's dual," Tom's manager Rod Fazzari said. "Both (Guttromson and Standard) those kids throw well.

"The difference was that the (strike) zone was tight," Fazzari continued. "We had 10 walks and only three hits. Our kids adjusted (to the tight zone). 10 walks and a hit batter, and that's the difference in the ball game."

Seth Guttromson collected Ed's first hit with a fourth-inning single that also broke up Standard's perfect game as Tom's right hander retired the first 11 hitters he faced.

Behind Haen's sixth-inning single, two walks, and an error, Tom's salted this one away with three runs to push the lead to 7-0.

Jacob Roth singled in the sixth for Ed's off of reliever Lesmeister, but it wasn't enough, as Lesmeister got a ground ball and a strike out to end it.

Standard left with one out in the fifth and a 4-0 lead. Standard, using a fast ball and a curve, blanked Ed's on one hit and recorded 12 of his 13 outs via strike out.

"Isaiah is a very good pitcher," Fazzari said. "He was hitting his spots. He threw some great pitches. When we have him on the mound, we're pretty confident."

Cox Jones 10, Baker Boyer 2

Baker Boyer 100 010 - 2 3 5

Cox Jones 430 30x - 10 14 1

Smith, Harvey (1), Romero (5) and Hamada; Chabre, Wicklund (3), Courson, (5), Roth (6) and Hano.

HR - Cox Jones: Porter, Chabre.

Hits - BB: Feistner, Harvey, Romero; CJ: Wicklund 3, Porter 3, Gladden, Chabre 2, Courson 3, Roth 2.

MZI 8, Fire Department 4

MZI 303 020 - 8 9 3

FD 200 020 - 4 5 3

Stairs-Dunleavy, Zehner (3), Spencer (5) and Spencer, Hoeft (4); Dwyer, Kohler (5) and Ja. Needham.

HR - none.

Hits - MZI: Spencer 3, Stairs-Dunleavy, Hoeft, Drivdahl, White 2, Lynch; FD: Jo. Needham 2, Dwyer 2, Ja. Needham.

Cummins 1, Farmer's Co-Op 0

Cummins 000 100 - 1 1 1

Farmer's 000 000 - 0 2 1

Carrera, Gorze (4) and Davis; Ju. Olivares, Bridges (6) and Bridges, Marley (4).

HR - none.

Hits - Cummins: Gorze; Farmer's: Knowles, Oliver.

Tom's Chevron 7, Mr. Ed's 0

Tom's 000 403 - 7 3 2

Ed's 000 000 - 0 2 1

Standard, Mi. Lesmeister (5) and Mi. Lesmeister, E. Haen (4); S. Guttromson, J. Guttromson (4) and Roth.

HR - none.

Hits - Tom's: Mi. Lesmeister, Standard, E. Haen; Ed's: S. Guttromson, Roth.

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