Aberdeen wins District III 9-11 Little League baseball pennant

ELMA — Throughout the entire District III 9-11 Little League Baseball Tournament, Aberdeen only needed four innings to dispatch its opponents.

On June 29, Aberdeen had to play all six innings against Montesano, but it didn’t change the outcome in an 11-2 victory in the district championship game at the 10th Street Park/Elma Little League fields in Elma.

On July 8, Aberdeen will represent the district in the state 9-11 tournament at Luke Jenson Sports Complex in Vancouver.

Aberdeen’s run through the district tournament was punctuated by a strong offense and pitching performances. Aberdeen’s three previous district games ended after four innings due to the 10-run mercy rule and it had outscored its opponents, 48-5. Last week’s game against Montesano was no different in strong performances.

Starting pitcher Gailand Halstead was in control on the mound for Aberdeen. Throwing 85 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, Halstead finished with 12 strikeouts and three walks, scattering two Montesano hits — Caleb Bruland’s lead-off double in the third inning and Daylon Schroeder’s lead-off single in the fifth.

Halstead also made his mark at the plate. With two home runs against Montesano on the first day of competition, Montesano intentionally walked Halstead twice. In the next two at-bats, Halstead stroked a single and an RBI triple in the third and fifth innings, respectively.

Aberdeen showed it didn’t need Halstead’s bat until the second half of the contest.

Parlaying fielding errors with timely hits, Aberdeen posted three runs in the first inning for a 3-0 lead off Montesano starter Tyler Johansen. Aberdeen put up four runs on Johansen’s totals in the second inning, with Trevon Nichols and Charlie Ancich hitting RBI singles with the bases loaded off reliever Schroeder. Aberdeen ran itself out of the inning with a 7-0 lead.

Montesano threatened in the third off Halstead, using Bruland’s double and two infield errors to load the bases with no outs. After an infield/pitcher’s meeting, Halstead struck out the next three batters to end the threat.

Aberdeen added two runs in the third and stranded two game-ending runs at second and third in the fourth inning against relief pitcher John Griffin.

When Halstead hit the maximum pitches allowed with one out in the fifth, relief pitcher Hunter Eisele came in for Aberdeen. Montesano took advantage with an RBI double from Jack Holmstrom and an RBI bunt single by Johansen for a 9-2 score.

Aberdeen pushed two runs across in the bottom of the fifth and Eisele had a 1-2-3 sixth inning to close out the contest.

Montesano 000 020 — 2 4 4

Aberdeen 342 02x — 11 8 2

Johansen, Schroeder (2), Griffin (3) and Daniels; Halstead, Eisele (5) and Ancich.