SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – The Eastlake Little League team batted around in the first inning and the last inning during Saturday’s Northwest Regional game. They didn’t put up big numbers in the other innings, but did score in every inning en route to a 16-2 victory over the Cody, Wyoming Little League team.
Eastlake yielded two runs in the fifth inning, prolonging the game because they couldn’t win by the 10-run mercy rule. Actually, some of the Eastlake players liked having to play a sixth inning.
“I liked playing the sixth inning because we got up to hit again,” said Dalton Chandler, whose home run to left started the scoring in what turned out to be a five-run first inning. “I think I have hit nine home runs since starting in All-Stars.”
After Cody scored two runs in the fifth to cut Eastlake’s lead to 10-2, Eastlake scored six times in the sixth frame. Brice DeLay, the ninth-place hitter, had three hits and a walk with three RBI.
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“I don’t care where I bat in the lineup, so long as I can get some hits to help the team,” said DeLay. He has not been retired in six tournament plate appearances, getting four singles and two walks.
Eastlake coach Rob Chandler said he doesn’t pay much attention to statistics and doesn’t worry about the batting order.
“Bryce is like a second lead-off man in the ninth spot,” said Chandler. “I look at hit like we have nine number three hitters.”
Eastlake is atop the region with a 2-0 record in pool play. They will play against Montana at 8 p.m. Monday. They have to get up early the next day, as their final game will be at 9 a.m on Tuesday against Oregon.