Magnolia 12-year-old All Stars to play for tournament championship

The Magnolia Little League's 12-year-old All Star team continued their undefeated run in the 2006 District 8 All Star tournament with an 11-0 win over Northwest on Wednesday, July 12, and a 6-4 win against Woodinville West on Saturday, July 15.

The two wins carried the Magnolians into the tournament final against Woodinville, scheduled for Monday, July 17, where they need just one more victory to win the District 8 championship and move on to the Washington state all-star tournament in Oak Harbor. Magnolia hurler Jason Books was the story of Wednesday's game. Books allowed only two hits while striking out four, walking none and facing only two batters more than the minimum in four innings of sparkling work.

Meanwhile, the Magnolia offense feasted on Northwest's pitching, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring five runs in the second inning, including singles by Brad Baker and Nathan Guinasso that scored Stuart MacGeorge and Ian Zapolsky, and a double by Jason Books that drove in Baker and Matt Deehring.

Magnolia struck again in the fourth inning, scoring four more to go up 9-0 when Jack Santucci singled home Ryan Books, and Will Reed drove in two more. In the fifth inning, Spencer Ramquist hit an RBI double and Santucci drove him in to make the score 11-0. 

Alex Bates came on to pitch the bottom of the fifth inning and complete the shutout, which was shortened one inning by the 10-run "mercy" rule.

In Saturday's semifinal game against Woodinville West-the only other undefeated team in the tournament-the Magnolians faced their first real test.

Magnolia jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Guinasso scored on a fielder's choice and Ramquist (4 for 4, 2 RBIs) doubled in Reed.

This time it was pitcher Dylan Wade who dominated the early innings for Magnolia, with help from a rock-solid defense that has committed only one error in four games. Wade faced the minimum number of batters for the first three innings, allowing only a walk and a hit, with catcher Brad Baker nabbing both Woodinville West baserunners, including a rare pickoff at second base.

Woodinville West tied the game in the top of the fourth inning on a mammoth two-run homer to left by Myles Franklin. But the Magnolians fought back in the bottom half of the inning. After consecutive singles by Jason Books and Ramquist, Zapolsky (pinch running for Books) stole third and then sped home from third on a fielder's choice by Wade. Bates drove home Ramquist and then came around to score on a passed ball to make the score 5-2.

They made it 6-2 in the top of the sixth when Ramquist singled home Guinasso. But in the bottom of the inning, Woodinville West threatened a final time with a two-run homer by Clarke Bader to make the score 6-4. Reliever Ryan Books, who had held off the Woodinville West attack since the fourth, recorded two outs and then gave way to closer MacGeorge with a baserunner on first and the potential tying run at the plate.

After falling behind the batter, 3-1, MacGeorge put the game away by inducing Jordan Miller to ground weakly to first, where first baseman picked the ball up for the unassisted put-out to seal the win and send Magnolia to the championship game.[[In-content Ad]]