Abilene, TX – Midland Northern’s 8-10 year-old Little League team put up a good fight, but couldn’t keep up with McAllister Park in the Texas West State Tournament at Kirby Lake Park on Sunday.
Northern’s playoff run came up a game short of the championship in a five inning 17-6 loss. San Antonio’s McAllister Park batted first and uncorked eight runs to open the game and set the tempo early. McAllister utilized two triples and two singles to get the bats going. Coupled with four walks and a hit batter, Midland would try to play catch-up from there – just one-half inning into the game.
San Antonio scored in every inning, which included two runs in the second and again in the third inning. Midland collected their first run in the bottom of the third by filling the bases courtesy of three walks. With one out, another free trip awarded to Case Collie put Northern on the scoreboard. A force out at home and an infield popup left Midland stranding three and trailing 12-1.
Northern gave up three more runs in the fourth frame, but came to life and responded with five of their own in the bottom of the inning. Easton Payne led off with a hard hit ground ball to right field. Max Martinez and Will Gray collected walks to load the bases with no outs. Cooper Smith drew a walk for Payne to score. Isaac Solis hammered a shot to the shortstop for a force out at second, but it would also plate Martinez.
An RBI single to centerfield by Mason Ontivarez allowed Gray to score, but Northern wasn’t done. Collie and Jackson Rucker drew walks, and were joined by Tesher Scharbauer after he was hit by a pitch to reload the bases. Payne sent a screamer to right field for a two-run RBI single to narrow the deficit to 15-6. A sharp hit ball to the third base would end the inning and strand two more runners.
In the top of the fifth, McAllister Park converted four singles and two walks into two more runs to up the tally to 17-6. They were a very disciplined team that continually put the ball into play. Midland went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, which halted the game by 10-run mercy rule.
Northern showed a lot grit in its final game of the summer, just one game shy of the tournament championship. After falling behind by such a margin, they continued to battle and show toughness without quitting. At this age, that’s the makings of positives to build on. They finish the season as Section 1 Champions, as well as District 3 representatives in their age group.
Texas West State Tournament
:: 8-10 ::
Sunday, July 11
Bracket Semifinal (Game 5)
SA McAllister Park 17, Midland Northern 6
Monday, July 12
Championship (Game 6)
12:00 – Corpus Christi National -vs- McAllister Park
*Game 7 (if needed), 30 minutes after conclusion of Game 6.