SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — In the past 48 hours, the Pacific Little League All-Stars of Lynnwood squeezed in a trip to the beach and a Dodgers game as they enjoyed the Southern California lifestyle.
It’s a good thing, too. They needed some rest and relaxation after playing a game for the ages, and manager Robley Corsi Jr. was left feeling his own age.
“See my beard?,” he asked afterward. “When we started this tournament, there was no white.”
Ian Michael had a game-tying double in the top of the sixth inning and Pacific held off Billings, Mont., Boulder-Arrowhead by scoring six times in the ninth inning (regulation in Little League is six innings) for a 10-4 victory Sunday in pool play of the Little League Northwest Regional at Al Houghton Stadium.
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“I’m really tired and pretty excited,” said Karsen Tjarneberg, who struck out eight and earned the victory with 41/3 innings of scoreless relief while also going 2 for 5 with two RBI.
“It was a great game. Every player made a play.”
On an abnormal day — there was a 34-minute rain delay, the Northwest Regional’s first in 22 years — Pacific (12-2, 2-0 tournament) was unusually out of sync from the start against the club from Montana (12-2, 1-1) that had no intention of backing down.
Montana scored three runs in the second, one in the fourth, was an out away from winning in the sixth, and a base away from winning in the seventh.
With Pacific trailing 4-3 in the sixth, Michael doubled to right with two outs to score Ben Grant for a 4-4 tie.
“I was just back in the box, and I saw the curve come out of his hand,” Michael said. “And it just hung over the plate.”
Still, Montana wasn’t done. Boulder-Arrowhead had the winning run at third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Johnathan Nickoloff hit into a fielder’s choice.
In the eighth, Montana’s Cole Henby reached on an error and took second with one out, but Tjarneberg got consecutive strikeouts to end the threat.
Finally in the ninth, the first three Pacific hitters reached base, and Michael, the inning’s leadoff hitter, scored on a wild pitch. Read Carr, Robley Corsi III and Colton Walsh each added run-scoring hits as Pacific piled on six runs.
“When we got into extra innings, it became a scramble from there,” Boulder-Arrowhead manager Tyler Johnson said. “With pitching limits, and things like that, you have to make some things happen, and it didn’t fall our way.”
The on-field performance for Pacific is proving to be just as entertaining as its off-field adventures.
“This whole thing, for us, is an experience,” Corsi Jr. said. “It’s been 22 years since we’ve been here, so we’re going to live it up.”