The West Kootenay Diamondbacks hurdled the first obstacle in its run at the Washington State American Legion AA District tournament in Spokane on Wednesday.
The Dbacks mercied Cheney 10-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Sean Barta knocked in the tenth run with two outs to end the game, and avoid elimination.
“I didn’t tell the kids this, but I thought we should 10-run them,” said co-coach Wayne McIntyre who had scouted the Cheney team the week before.
Tanner Johnson picked up the win going six innings and giving up just three hits on the way to the shutout. The run-shortened game also means that Johnson has an extra inning to pitch before he reaches his 10-inning quota and has to rest three days.
“We figured we had to win this game so don’t go against the odds, we’ll go with Tanner, so we’ll have Scotty (Davidson) for tomorrow if we win,” said McIntyre. “And they’re both very close, Scotty’s a big lefty and Tanner’s a righty, and he threw really well today.”
The Dbacks eventually squashed the butterflies as they scored two in the third, and then exploded for six more in the fourth to take an 8-0 lead.
“It was a little scary at the start, slow to get out of the gate these guys, but they started seeing the ball better, and their pitcher got tired.”
The win means Cheney goes home while the Dbacks enter the double knockout round, and will play Mt. Spokane today at 10 a.m., a team that has not lost a game all season.
“They’re going to be tough. I was speaking to one of the guys at the park, and he was saying they have a pretty strong team,” added McIntyre.
West Kootenay will start Davidson tomorrow with lefty Austin Tambellini set to go next. If the Dbacks win their next game goes at 5:30 p.m. Friday, lose and it’s at 10 a.m. at A.K. Jackson Park.