Lucky seven puts West End in district final

July 14, 2002|by JACK HILL III

Federal, S. Mountain win, D6

West End and Oakland played like the two undefeated teams they were Saturday in the District 1 11-12 Little League Tournament. So much so, that they sent their winners' bracket final into an extra inning.

But West End came out on top with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 2-1 victory and a spot in the championship round of the double-elimination tournament.

Tim Leather started the one-out winning rally for West End (4-0) with a double off the top of the left field fence. After an intentional walk to Kyle Beers and another out, Jody McElroy singled to right to drive in the winning run.

"It was great," McElroy said. "I just got up there and swung the bat. We did a good job when the pressure was on. We try to stay calm and keep our heads in the game. I think that we have got a real good team. I think that we are capable of going to states."


McElroy had a game-high two hits for West End. Reliever Henry Fitzgerald got the win, giving up only one run and one hit, while striking out six in four innings. Fitzgerald scored West End's first run in the third on a double by Beers.

"It was a really good ballgame," West End manager Wink Suder said. "It all just boiled down to one team scoring one more run than the other team. When the score is 1-1 in the seventh, you are just waiting for somebody to score. We are happy to come out of this with a win."

Oakland pitcher Jason Ashby gave up only two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

"It was a well-played game defensively and a well-pitched game," Oakland manager Jason Shreve said. "It was a great job by West End. Both teams battled. Hats off to West End."

With the win, West End will play the first game of the championship round at home on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and goes for its first district title since 1996.

A West End loss would force a second game on Thursday at 6 in its opponent's park.

Oakland gets the losers' bracket final at home on Tuesday at 6 against either Federal or South Mountain.

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