The Lufkin Little League all-star team is one tournament win away from Williamsport and the Little League World Series on ESPN. Friday night the 12-and-under team made their national television debut on the Longhorn Network and won big, 14-1 over Oklahoma.
Lufkin (Texas East) scored 12 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning to take an insurmountable lead. A bases loaded double by Tyler Torres started the scoring and later in the inning Torres hit a 2-rrbi sac fly to deep center. They tacked on 2 more runs and won by the 10-run mercy rule in the 4th inning.
Eight different teams from seven states began pool play in the Southwest Regional tournament in Waco. Lufkin will continue pool B play against San Antonio (Texas West) on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. on the Longhorn Network.
Update from the Longhorn Network on Sunday's loss:
Game two of the day featured the two Texas teams as McAlister Park from San Antonio outlasted Lufkin for a 6-3 victory. Zach Sanchez started the scoring in the top of the third when he tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Carter Elliott. Grant Gomez added a solo homer to lead off a three run fourth and an rbi single by
Sam Serchay in the fifth completed the Texas West Scoring. On the mound, Sanchez combined with starter Seth Morrow and Jordan Cardenas in allowing six hits with six strikeouts. Lufkin's Ethan Jacobs did manage a solo homer while Tyler Torres collected two hits that included a double. Texas West is now in the drivers seat for a birth in the semi-finals on Tuesday. Texas East faces a must win game tomorrow against Colorado.
Update from Monday's win:
Game three of pool play for Lufkin turned into a 'win or go home' situation as they faced Grand Junction, Colorado Monday evening.
Texas East (Lufkin) struck first, with a sacrifice fly by Dillion Mcduffie that put Texas East up 1-0 after the 2nd inning. Colorado would come back, tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the 3rd inning, but that would be the only run pitcher Ethan Jacobs would allow.
Jacobs pitched a complete game in 86 pitches, striking out 9 during the 6 inning game. Behind that great performance on the mound, Lufkin reestablished the lead in the 4th by scoring 2 more runs. In the end Texas East defeated Colorado 6-1 to move on to the semifinals Tuesday. But the 85 max pitch count used by Jacobs means he will not be allowed to pitch again this tournament.
Update from Tuesday's semifinal win:
Coming into Tuesday's game all the talk was about the South Lake Charles, LA team, not Lufkin. The Louisiana team was undefeated during pool play, and had shown a lot of skill on the pitcher's mound. But Lufkin didn't allow that to intimidate them.
"We are not intimidated at all," said head coach Richard Freeland. "We are just going to play our game, I think we are as good as anybody in this thing."
Lufkin jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd inning. After Tyler Torres scored to make it 1-0, Charlie Henson hit a two-run double to left, his first hit of the entire Southwest regional tournament.
In the 4th inning Max Quick stepped up and smashed the first pitch he saw to dead center field and made the Lufkin lead 4-0.
That was more than enough for pitcher Kolten Eberlan. He pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 9 batters as Lufkin wins 6-0 over Louisiana.
Next up, the finals of the Southwest Regional Tournament on Thursday at 8:00 p.m.
Here is the full schedule for the remaining tournament:
Fri, Aug. 3
8:30 p.m., Southwest Region Pool B: Oklahoma vs. Texas East (Lufkin), Hart and Graves, Longhorn Network.
WIN - 14-1.
Sun, Aug. 5
5 p.m., Southwest Region Pool B: Texas East vs. Texas West, Hart and Graves, Longhorn Network
LOST - 6-3
Mon, Aug. 6
5 p.m., Southwest Region Pool B: Colorado vs. Texas East, Hart and Graves, Longhorn Network
WIN - 6-1
Tues, Aug. 7
Semifinals, Texas East vs. Louisiana, 4:00 P.M. ESPN3
WIN - 6-0
Thurs, Aug. 9
Finals, 8:00 p.m., Opponent TBD, ESPN2