Ten straight wins are nice. A 10-run loss? Eh, not quite as nice.
But Columbia Little League manager Anthony Barrett thinks it might have been just what his team needed.
Manhattan Beach, Calif., beat the host team 15-5 in the opening game of the Junior League Western Region Baseball Tournament Tuesday at Propstra Stadium. But maybe … that was the ideal result.
“SoCal is definitely the team to beat. We knew they were going to be tough, but our effort wasn’t there,” Barrett said. “This was a good thing for us. We had won 10 straight games. It took us down to reality.”
In a 7-inning game that took more than three hours, Manhattan Beach took an 8-1 lead by the top of the fourth and racked up 18 hits on the afternoon. But if this were a boxing match, the final result was more a unanimous decision than it was a knockout.
All game long, Columbia was on the verge of being defeated by way of the 10-run mercy rule, but still found a way to play out the contest in its entirety.
Jacob Trump had two hits for Columbia and Matthew Loftgren collected two RBI. Toby Newell added a double, which was the team’s only extra-base hit.
Columbia sent five different pitchers to the mound, and they no doubt had their hands full.
Blake Hammerstein had three hits for Manhattan Beach, while Zach Chan added four RBI.
Each team had three errors.
Barrett said that facing the Southern California team first was ideal, as it will help shake off the nerves for future games.
“The kids from Southern California, they’re gods up here,” Barrett said.
Columbia’s next pool play game will be vs. Carson City, Nev., at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Washington 14, Utah 4 — The all-stars from Naches pounded out 19 hits and rolled to victory in the second game of the tournament.
After Utah scored a run in the first inning, Washington tied it in the second and added two in the third and four in the fourth for a 7-1 lead.
Jay Whorton had four hits for Washington, and Chase Wells had three. Wells also struck out five batters, and Whorton three.
For the Utah team from Cedar City, Xavier Stoker had three of his team’s nine hits.
JUNIOR BASEBALL WESTERN REGIONAL
July 31-Aug. 8
At Propstra Stadium
Pool 1 — Host (Columbia LL); Southern California (Manhattan Beach); Montana (Missoula); Idaho (North Boise); Oregon (Murrayhill LL, Beaverton); Nevada (Carson City).
Pool 2 — Washington (Upper Valley LL, Naches); Utah (Cedar City); Hawaii (Wailuku/Makawao); Northern California (Rocklin); Arizona (Yuma); Alaska (Juneau).
Southern California 15, Columbia 5
Washington 14, Utah 4
Oregon vs. Nevada, 10 a.m.
Idaho vs. Montana, 1 p.m.
Northern California vs. Hawaii, 4 p.m.
Arizona vs. Alaska, 7 p.m.
Southern California vs. Montana, 10 a.m.
Arizona vs. Northern California, 1 p.m.
Utah vs. Alaska, 4 p.m.
Columbia vs. Nevada, 7 p.m.
Oregon vs. Idaho, 10 a.m.
Hawaii vs. Washington, 1 p.m.
Arizona vs. Utah, 4 p.m.
Montana vs. Columbia, 7 p.m.
Northern California vs. Washington, 10 a.m.
Idaho vs. Nevada, 1 p.m.
Southern California vs. Oregon, 4 p.m.
Hawaii vs. Alaska, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 5
Arizona vs. Hawaii, 1 p.m.
Montana vs. Oregon, 4 p.m.
Washington vs. Alaska, 7 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 6
Utah vs. Northern California, 1 p.m.
Nevada vs. Southern California, 4 p.m.
Idaho vs. Columbia, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 7
Pool 1 No. 1 vs. Pool 2 No. 2, 3 p.m.
Pool 1 No. 2 vs. Pool 2 No. 1, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 8
Semifinal losers, 3 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. (winner advances to World Series at Taylor, Mich.)