When the Kennewick Outlaws start play in the Washington State AAA American Legion baseball tournament in Bellingham, their odds of advancing to the Northwest Regionals will increase.
That’s because the state champion and the runner-up will advance.
“My understanding is that Hawaii was moved to the West Regional, and that leaves one spot open,” said Outlaws coach Nate Holdren, whose team has a 30-11 record.
With just eight teams in the tournament, the chances of advancing are even better.
The Outlaws open play at 1 p.m. Friday against Pacific Tech.
Quentin LaFontaine leads the team with a .408 batting average, while Larry DeWitt and Dillon Plew each are hitting .379.
Gerald Hein has the most wins among Outlaws pitchers, sporting a 9-2 record, while Colton Plew is 7-1.
Holdren said the Outlaws are truly an area team.
“The one cool thing about this team is that it is comprised of players from Prosser High, Kamiakin High, Pasco High and Kennewick High, and coached by a former Kennewick High player and four former Richland High players,” he said. “Definitely a Mid-Columbia team.”
In other tournament games Friday, Centralia Sobe plays the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak at 10 a.m.; the Spokane North Stars face Lakeside Recovery at 4 p.m.; and Bellingham Post 7 plays the Spokane Bandits at 7 p.m.• The Washington State AA American Legion tournament begins Saturday in Olympia.
The Walla Walla Bruins and Kennewick Dusters are among the 16 teams involved.
The Bruins will play in an eight-team tournament at Capital High School and open against LC Black at 9 a.m.
The Dusters will play in the Olympia High School tournament of eight teams. Their opener is at 9 a.m. against Gonzaga Prep.• Four Mid-Columbia teams will open play Saturday at the Washington State A American Legion tournament in Walla Walla.
At Walla Walla Community College, the Richland Knights will play Lakeside Recovery at 10 a.m., while Montesano will face the host Walla Walla Griz at 7 p.m.
At Borleske Stadium, the Pasco Sun Devils will take on Coeur d’Alene 16U at noon, while the Kennewick Dusters will play Bellingham at 6 p.m.
TRIPLE CROWN 14U WORLD SERIES: The Tri-City Athletics completed pool play in Steamboat Springs, Colo., with a 3-0 record after beating the TC Patriots (Mansfield, Texas) 11-3.
Nick Grade went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs for the Athletics, while Emilio Davila had three RBIs.
Wyatt Hull, Drew Daves and AJ Templeton combined to allow one earned run in six innings.
The Athletics, consisting of players from Kennewick, Richland and Pasco, begin bracket play Friday.
Athletics highlights: Wyatt Hull, Drew Daves and AJ Templeton 6IP-1ER-6K; Nick Grade 3x3, sac, 2 RBIs; Daves 2x4, 3R, 2 RBIs; Emilio Davila 2x4, 1R, 3 RBIs; Taylor Johnson 1x2, 3R, RBI; Hull 1x3, RBI.
LITTLE LEAGUE: Richland National Little League lost to Pacific 12-5 in the semifinals of the 10/11 state tournament in Vancouver.
Pacific will play for the title at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Vancouver Little League Complex. Richland National still has a chance at the championship game when it faces Redmond North at 6 p.m. Friday.
Grant Watkins hit two solo homers, and Nate Gray Jr. went 4-for-4 to pace RNLL.
On Wednesday, Walla Walla Pacific fell to Gig Harbor 12-10 and exited the tournament with a 2-2 record.
Gig Harbor took an 11-4 lead in the second inning, but J.T. McKenzie hit a solo shot in the fourth and a three-run homer in the fifth to narrow Walla Walla’s deficit.
In the 9/10 state tournament in Montesano, Walla Walla Valley was scheduled to face Mercer Island in the semifinals Thursday night.
Gibson Marshall Inman, Jacob Gabler (2), Koli Faaiu (5) and Maddux Stojkovic; Grant Watkins, Jacob Bilodeau (2), Joey Weissenfels (4), Elijah Rodriguez (5), Tyler Bilodeau (6) and Deacon Boyce, T. Bilodeau (3), Boyce (6). Highlights: Gabler (P) 3x4, HR, 3R, 3 RBIs; Remy Heckman (P) 3x4; Tyreek Curley (P) 3x4, 2 HR, 7 RBIs; Nate Gray Jr. (R) 4x4; Watkins (R) 2x4, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs; Weissenfels (R) 2x4; J. Bilodeau (R) 2x3.
CAL RIPKEN 10U: Kennewick American went 1-1 on the first day of the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in West Linn, Ore.
KA beat Willamette Valley South 12-2 and then lost to Meridian (Idaho) 21-3.
Kennewick American has two more pool-play games Friday, at 11 a.m. against Worland (Wyo.) and at 6:30 p.m. against West Linn.
CAL RIPKEN 9U: Kennewick American opened the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament with a pair of wins in Wilsonville, Ore.
KA began the tournament with an 8-6 victory over West Linn All-Stars and then beat the Spokane Indians 15-7.
Kennewick American, the top team in the National Division with a 2-0 record, will finish pool play at 9 a.m. Friday against Caldwell (Idaho).
CLACKAMAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE/CLARK COLLEGE INVITE: Trenton Nett pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine and walking two, as the Southridge AAA Bandits defeated the Seattle Titans 5-0 in their tournament opener in Oregon City.
Jake Harvey drove in two runs, and Trevor Oldham and Bryce Grigg also had two hits apiece for the Bandits, who will play at 9 a.m. Friday against the Seattle Braves.
The Walla Walla Bears opened with a 6-0 loss to Honda Baseball. Their next game is at 6 p.m. Friday against NW Futures 16s.
Gonzalez, Prothero (6) and Palomino; Trenton Nett and Jake Kirchhoff. Highlights: Nett (Sou) 7IP-0R-2H-9K-2BB; Jake Harvey (Sou) 2x4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Trevor Oldham (Sou) 2x3, 2B; Bryce Grigg (Sou) 2x3.