The Warner Robins West all-stars took advantage of 11 Warner Robins East walks to coast to a 14-3 win Tuesday in the District 5 Little League tournament, advancing to the championship round.
Leyton Pinckney broke open a close game in the bottom of the third inning with a grand slam, his fifth home run of the tournament, to key the win.
Their pitcher was struggling a little bit with his control, so I was pretty sure I was getting a fastball, and thats what I got, said Pinckney, who had two of the West teams five hits. All of those guys in the other dugout are our friends, and we were all looking forward to playing them. We are all happy we made it to the championship game, but we know that we have to keep on improving to win the tournament.
The West team jumped out for two runs in the first off East starter Chandler Ring. Pinckney drove in leadoff hitter Chase Padgett, who reached on a walk, and then later scored on a wild pitch. The East answered with two runs of its own in the second as Ring, Darius Clarington and Austin Bergeaux all had hits.
The West team took advantage of five walks and two errors in the third inning to score eight runs and open a 10-2 lead, and the East team was unable to mount much offense against Kody Winner and Pinckney despite having eight hits.
It was frustrating for us because we felt like it was a game we could win, East coach Jason Ring said. I dont think I have ever been with a team that lost by 11 runs and still feel like we should have won the game. We knew we couldnt give them extra outs and walk a lot of batters, and we did both of them. But I believe these kids feel like we can come back and get to the West team again. They are very, very good, but I know our kids would like another shot at them. We outhit them eight to five so that is something to build on.
Warner Robins West head coach Martin Pinckney was glad to see his team get tested.
We knew this was a big game, and I dont feel like we played as well as we are capable of, but we did come up with some big hits when we needed to, he said. It was a close game until the grand slam, and it wouldnt surprise me a bit if we ended up playing them in the championship games.
Jackson Will Also homered for the West team. While Bergeaux and Ring both had two hits for the East team. The East team will play in the losers bracket Wednesday night against the winner of Tuesdays late Vine Ingle-Dudley game.