Centralia 12U Wins District 3 Little League Title
By Matt Baide
TUMWATER — Centralia’s Tristan Percival threw a no-hitter and left little doubt who the top Little League team was in District 3 as Centralia 12U defeated Elma 11-0 in the championship game here on Thursday.
“It feels really good. These kids worked very hard the last month and a half to get to this point in three or four different tournaments,” Centralia coach Sean Percival said. “(They’ve) performed well, but this is when it counts, so I’m proud of them.”
Percival struck out 10 batters in four innings, with the only blemish in his performance a lone walk in the third inning. He struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth inning to seal the win.
“He was unbelievable. Tristan’s gone through a lot this year, had a little bit of arm trouble in the middle of the year,” Percival said. “He overcame that and just really gutted this one out and I’m proud of him.”
After a scoreless first inning, Centralia got it going at the plate in the second. After a walk and a hit by pitch, Broc Ruete hit a single to bring home Landon Jenkins and Sawyer Terry to start the scoring.
An error brought home Ruete and following another walk, Ross Kelley hit an RBI-single to bring home Roberto Rosales-Norris. Percival stepped to the plate next and ripped a double to bring home Brady Sprague and Kelley.
Asher Guerrero stepped up two batters later and hit an RBI-single. Two passed ball runs before the final out of the inning made it 9-0 Centralia, which was more than enough with Percival on the mound.
“We’re just so balanced, it doesn’t matter who’s coming up,” Percival said. “Any one of our kids can start a rally and really add to it. That’s what’s good about our lineup, there’s no dead spots. We expect that.”
In the third, two errors by Elma allowed Brycen Lovato to score to make it 10-0. Centralia plated their final run in the fourth, with Guerrero hitting a double and scoring on a groundout by Terry.
Centralia punched their ticket to the state Little League tournament, set for July 20-29 in Sedro-Woolley. Percival believes his team will have success if they continue to play as they did in the district tournament.
“A lot of the same. We’re about nine deep pitching, we’re going to work that this week,” Percival said. “Hit a lot. We’ve just got to keep the bats hot and get good solid pitching performances and we’ll be alright.”