Heartbreaker: Eastlake bounced out in extra innings at Little League World Series
August 23, 2013
By Neil Pierson
The Eastlake all-stars finally saw their magical summer come to an end on Friday at the Little League World Series.
Westport rallied from a seven-run deficit in the fifth inning, and Chad Knight’s two-out, two-strike single in the bottom of the seventh gave Connecticut a wild, 14-13 victory over Eastlake at Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pa.
Connecticut, which beat Eastlake 9-7 earlier in the double-elimination tournament, advanced to Saturday’s U.S. championship game against Chula Vista, Calif. Those teams met Wednesday, with California winning in extra innings.
Eastlake looked as if it would sew up the berth in the U.S. title game. A 10-run fourth inning in which the Sammamish team collected 10 hits had them up 12-5. They led 13-6 entering the bottom of the fifth.
But Westport put together a seven-run frame to tie it, then won it in the seventh after pitcher Max Popken held Eastlake scoreless over the final two innings.
Overall, Eastlake’s offense put up big numbers against Connecticut, the New England Regional champion. Zach Olson doubled, tripled and drove in three runs. Dalton Chandler was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and Jack Carper was 3-for-5.
But Westport’s powerful lineup produced a punch of its own. Nine of Connecticut’s 14 hits went for extra bases, including home runs from Tatin Llamas, Ricky Offenberg, Alex Reiner, Popken and Knight.
Eastlake won the Northwest Regional championship earlier in August after winning the Washington state title for the first time as well. Head coach Rob Chandler’s team had to win eight straight elimination games after losing their state-tournament opener.