The calls of andquot;Are we done yet?andquot; andquot;NO!andquot; rang from the dugout at the conclusion of the District 8, 10-11 year old championship game Friday as the Brookings-Harbor Little League team defeated Grants Pass 11-10 in eight innings.
Most Little League games have 6-inning limit, but the 10-11 year olds played 16 innings in two games as they clawed their way to become the champions. The team will represent District 8 at the state tournament to be held later this month.
In the first game Thursday against Gold Valley, Brookings was down 3-0 in the sixth inning and scored three runs on a triple by Matt Sanders to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Brookings eventually beat Gold Valley 7-6 in eight innings.
Friday's game against Grants Pass was just as close. Brookings was down 6-0 and seemed to be out of the game when Dustin Carter hit a home run, shifting the team's momentum.
Brookings battled to gain ground but seemed to fall short every inning until the sixth, when they were able to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
In the seventh inning, Brookings was up by one run, but aggressive base running by the Grants Pass team tied it back up.
In the eighth inning, Brookings was able to score two runs, putting themselves ahead with three outs between themselves and victory. But nothing is sure in Little League.Once again, aggressive base running put Grants Pass in position to score and, on a pass ball, they made their way home to bring the score within one.
Sanders proved to be not only an excellent batter but a pitching closer of big league proportions as he came into the game in the eighth inning with the bases loaded, no outs, and proceeded to shut down Grants Pass to secure a 12-11 victory.
When asked what thoughts were going through his head as he came into the game, Sanders said, andquot;I knew I needed to pitch strikes, and try to get them out.andquot;