Central Vancouver rally falls short in opener

Local team in Junior Little League regional falls 3-2

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photoDawson Allen of Central Vancouver hits an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday.

(/The Columbian)

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The wakeup call for Central Vancouver's bats came just a little late.

Held to one hit through six innings, Central Vancouver's seventh-inning rally fell short in a 3-2 loss to Parrish Little League of Salem, Ore.

The opening-game loss Wednesday puts Central's back to the wall in the Junior League Western Regional tournament at Clark College.

Central has two games remaining in pool play. The top two teams in each six-team pool advance to the semifinals on Tuesday. The winner of the championship game Aug. 7 qualifies for the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Mich.

"We need to win our next two games," Central shortstop Damon McPherson said. "I think that will motivate us."

Central faces Woodcreek Little League from outside Sacramento, Calif., at 5 p.m. Friday followed by West Valley of Yakima at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Prior to the final inning, a fourth-inning double by McPherson was the only ball Central hit out of the infield. Trailing 3-0, back-to-back singles by Tyler Russell and Skylar Jensen set the stage for a rally.

Josh Mulcahey put Central on the board with a third consecutive single, which scored Russell. Dawson Allen followed with a single to score Jensen, and Central had runners on first and second with none out.

But Central's fortunes turned. A fly ball to center turned into a double play as the runner was doubled off second base. A groundout then ended the game.

"It all came together in the seventh inning but we needed to start hitting earlier," Central infielder Daniel Thompson said. "If we get a few hits consecutively, we just start rolling. That's usually how we are."

Parrish, the Oregon representative in the tournament for 13- and 14-year-olds, scored its runs in the third inning behind four singles and a walk.

Central's pitchers largely kept Parrish's hitters in check, as Nick Simonsen struck out six of the eight batters he faced in relief. Outside of the third inning, Parrish hitters mustered only one hit.

Anchorage (Alaska) 6, West Valley (Wash.) 4 -- Julito Fazzini homered as Anchorage held off West Valley of Yakima. The Alaska team jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings. West Valley hung close, pulling within 5-4 in the sixth inning.

Woodcreek (Calif.) 15, Nampa Valley (Idaho) 1 -- Woodcreek jumped to a 14-0 lead after three innings in a game that was called after the fifth. Jack Fitzpatrick, Jack Horne and Roberto Cepeda had two hits each as the Northern California representative collected 13 hits. A trio of Woodcreek pitchers held Nampa Valley to two hits.