Ahwatukee ‘Chases’ a victory
A solo shot in the first
followed by six shutout innings seals the deal as the West defeats
the Great Lakes 1-0
By Brandon Miller
a rain delay lasting a little more than an hour, the game finally
got under way with the Ahwatukee Little League All-Stars from
Phoenix (Ariz.) defeating the Lemont Little League All-Stars from
Lemont (Ill.) 1-0 at Little League Volunteer Stadium.
After apologizing for being a little damp after the game, Lemont
manager Mike Hall said the weather did not play a factor in the
game. “The weather has been phenomenal all week. Both teams had to
play with it today.”
With the visiting Ahwatukee All-Stars leading off the game, Shaun
Chase picked up right where he left off by starting the team's ride at
the Little League Baseball World Series with a solo shot to
straightaway centerfield in the first inning.
“(Josh Ferry) left it in my wheelhouse and I just hit it,” said
Chase. “It feels good cause you’re in the Series and you get the
chance to do something special.”
After belting three home runs in their World Series-clinching game
against Northern California at the West Regional Tournament, Chase
took to the mound in their first game against the Lemont All-Stars
with a 1-0 lead and looked to maintain the momentum the team had
built en route to a 20-1 record during World Series-qualifying play.
“Shaun gets the outs when you need them,” said Ahwatukee manager
Thomas Kingery. “He’s a gamer, but the defense will get the outs too
if we need it.”
Chase’s pitching line: six innings, one hit, 10 strikeouts, two
walks, and a hit batsman.
“The kid (Chase) pitched a great ballgame,” said Manager Hall. “He’s
one of the best pitchers we’ve seen.
When told that he was one of the top two or three pitchers that
Lemont had faced, Chase just smiled and responded that it’s “a
pretty good feeling.”
The only other hit for Ahwatukee was a single by Chase Knox who
called it, “the hardest hit I’ve gotten in a long time.”
Known in the Phoenix area as the ‘Ahwatukee Dawgs’ from an incident
at their very first All-Star practice that involved a dog getting on
the field and choosing not to leave, the team from Phoenix showed
just how dominant they could be with good pitching, clutch hitting,
and errorless defense.
“Usually we eat up the fastball, but our bats are just a little
stale right now,” said Manager Hall.
The only threat Chase faced on his way to the shutout victory, came
in the first, when he gave up a walk and a single, but that threat
was quickly erased with a two-out strikeout. No Great Lakes batter
reached third base at any point in the game.
The Great Lakes All-Stars weren’t without their own heroics.
Starting pitcher Ferry held Ahwatukee to only two hits while
striking out 11. His only mistake ended up being the pitch that
Chase hit out of the park in the first inning. After that he calmed
down and retired 17 of the final 19 batters that he faced.
“He’s disappointed right now,” said Manager Hall. “Josh just got
(the home run ball) over the plate and the rest is history. Only
giving up two hits, the game could have easily gone the other way.”
© 2006, Little League Baseball
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