SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The Sprague All-Star team clinched a spot in the Little League World Series with a thrilling 5-4 win in the Northwest Regional final on Saturday.
It’s the first time a team from the Salem area has reached the Little League World Series, according to the Statesman Journal.
It looked like Sprague may come up one run short. They trailed Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 4-3 in the final inning before an unusual play gave Sprague new life.
With one out in the top of the sixth inning and a runner on second base, Andrew Mhoon hit a ground ball to Coeur d’Alene’s pitcher. The pitcher fielded the ball cleanly and threw out Mhoon at first. Sprague’s runner on second base, Henry Mhoon, advanced to third base as the pitcher made the out. But, after the out was made, Coeur d’Alene’s catcher, who believed a timeout had been called, walked away from home. Alert at third base, Henry Mhoon took off for home and scored, tying the game at 4.
Sprague’s next batter, Gavin Price, hit a fly ball that was misplayed by Coeur d’Alene’s right fielder. Price was able to reach second base. The next batter, Cameron Van Kempen, hit a hard ground ball that bounced off the glove of the Coeur d’Alene pitcher. The ball bounced to Coeur d’Alene’s second baseman who then threw to first base to try and get the out. However, his throw was wide of the base and Price was able to score on the play, putting Sprague ahead 5-4.
Sprague would get the last three outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to seal the win.
Eight teams from the United States qualify for the Little League World Series. Sprague will represent the Northwest region, and Oregon. The tournament begins Aug. 15 and will be played in historic Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
According to the Little League World Series bracket, Sprague will play its first game on Aug. 16 against the winner of the Mid-Atlantic region.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help families with the expenses of making the cross-country trip. You can donate here.