WACO — Pearland East scored all its runs in the second inning and then had to withstand a furious rally Sunday from South Lake Charles (La.) to take a 6-4 win in the Southwest Region Little League tournament.
The victory improves Pearland East (Texas East) to 2-0 in Pool B. It battles Texas West (San Antonio) at 5 p.m., tomorrow in its final pool game.
If Pearland wins that game, it will be the champion of Pool B and advance to one of Tuesday’s semifinal games. Louisiana fell to 1-1 in pool play.
Pearland can still advance to the semifinals, even if it were to lose Monday.
Pearland scored all the runs it needed in the second after loading the bases on walks to Brandon Sliwinski and Josh Gabino and an infield single by Bryce Laird.
Cole Smajstrla and McKane Groover then each followed with two-run doubles as Pearland opened a 4-0 lead. Clayton Broeder then belted a two-run home run for a 6-0 score.
Matthew Adams pitched a strong first inning for Pearland, but then ran into trouble in the second when Louisiana scored three of its runs.
Lake Charles used singles by Mauri Miller, Aaron Young, Payton Whitehead, Chase Ardoin and a walk to Bryce LaRocca to close the gap to 6-3.
Gus Milligan then belted a solo home run in the third inning to pull Louisiana within 6-4.
Louisiana loaded the bases in the sixth inning with two out, but Broeder came on to record the final out. Lake Charles outhit Pearland, 7-5.
The winner of the Southwest Region tournament advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
The win for Pearland was its 12th in the postseason without a loss.
Check back here Monday night for more updates.
Source: The Pearland Journal