SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The Eastlake All-Stars from Sammamish will have to wait one more day to see if they can reach the U.S. Championship.
Thursday’s scheduled game against Westport, Conn., was postponed until Friday at noon PDT due to a nearly two-hour thunderstorm that passed through town. Because the Mexico-Panama International loser’s bracket final had yet to be completed and did not start until 8:10 p.m. EST, Little League officials decided to push the American game to Friday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
Mexico won that game, 4-2, and will play Japan in Saturday’s International Championship.
Sammamish will be trying to exact revenge against Connecticut after the New England champions edged them 9-7 last Sunday. Sammamish has come back to win consecutive 6-5 thrillers over Iowa and Tennessee since then and is guaranteed no worse than a top-three finish in the country.
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Connecticut lost its first game of the tournament on Wednesday, succumbing to a California rally and losing 6-3 in nine innings. California earned a spot in Saturday’s U.S. final and would be the Sammamish opponent if it wins Friday.
Sammamish made a furious comeback against Connecticut the first time they played, nearly coming all the way back from an eight-run, third-inning deficit before losing 9-7.
The extra day off could benefit Sammamish in terms of pitching. Jacob Dahlstrom and Jack Matheson cannot pitch, but everyone else is eligible.
Connecticut will use its No. 2 starter, Harry Azadian, who earned the win against Sammamish last Saturday. Staff ace Chad Knight will be unavailable after starting Wednesday.
If Sammamish gets to Azadian, it could put Connecticut in a tough spot since the New England champions would be thin on pitching. Reliever Alex Reiner also is ineligible due to the league’s pitch-count rules after his extended relief performance against California.
Sammamish earned a spot in Friday’s game by scoring six third-inning runs to top Tennessee on Tuesday.
Sammamish is trying to become the first Washington team this century to reach the U.S. championship. The Northwest champions are 21-2 this season and have scored 27 runs in four Series games.