Story and photos
by Merle Peifer
and Pam Cummings
Big Sky Little League, the Northwest Champions, did not let a light misting of rain slow them down in their quest for win number two at the Little League World Series. Big Sky's second game was played against the Southeast Champions from Louisiana and the final score was 3-1. Patrick Zimmer pitched five complete shutdown innings.
Both teams started with two scoreless innings.
At the top of the third inning, Patrick led off with a base hit. Connor Kieckbusch followed up with a walk. Cole McKenzie advanced the runners to second and third on a fielders choice. Ben Askelson next lined to deep left field scoring Patrick and Connor.
An additional run was added in the top of the sixth inning when Pearce Kurth walked, Brock MacDonald singled to center field. On the single, Gabe Sulser advanced to second base after being put in as a special pitch runner for Pearce. Ian Leatherberry hits a double to right field scoring Gabe with Brock tagged out at home trying to score from first base.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Sean Jones entered the game in relief of Patrick. A long fly ball to right field was over the head of Connor Kieckbusch, however a strong effort to catch the ball fell off Connor's glove, scored as a double for Lousisiana. Two outs later, Castile from Louisiana hit a double scoring their only run. The final out of the game came on a hit to Patrick Zimmer (who had moved to third base), who alertly tagged the running coming from second.
Billings Big Sky Little League, Montana State and the Northwest champion, will play at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, Aug. 24, on ESPN in Lamade Stadium.
The Billings team gets dancing instructions from the mascot.
Andy Maehl, far left, leads the dancing.
Montana and Louisiana managers entertain the crowd.
Andy Maehl leads the Little League Pledge.
Pearce Kurth at bat.
Patrick Zimmer at the plate.
Cole McKenzie doubles to left field.
Cole McKenzie plays shortstop.
Ben Askelson watches a pitch.
Ian Leatherberry doubles in the sixth.
Sean Jones comes on in relief.
Celebration on the field.