The Chehalis 9-to-11-year-old All-Stars’ 11-1 victory over Capitol in the District 3 Little League Tournament semifinals on July 14 meant one thing: they would need back-to-back victories over Montesano to claim the district championship.
Chehalis had lost to Monte in the second round of the tourney, so they would need to beat them twice, on July 15 and 16, to claim the district crown and a spot at the state tournament.
Chehalis did just that, conquering Monte 2-0 behind Talon Guerrero’s 14-strikeout gem and Baron Luond’s two RBIs in the fifth inning in Game 1 on July 15. Chehalis then shut out Monte again, 5-0, in Game 2 on July 16 to capture the district title and a state berth.
Tegan Guerrero smashed a leadoff double to start the second game. His brother, Talon Guerrero, drove him in with a single and Chehalis was off to the races.
Evan Hultberg had an impressive performance on the mound, striking out six and allowing just two hits across five innings. Luond came in and shut the door in the bottom of the sixth, registering two strikeouts, capped by a wicked curveball to end the game.
“Evan threw well. He threw a lot of strikes,” Chehalis Manager Brett Hultberg said. “The last three games of the tournament, we’ve played really good defense.”
The team has not allowed a run in their past 16 innings. Talon Guerrero finished 4 for 4 at the plate with three doubles as Chehalis tallied nine total hits in Game 2.
“They’ve really been progressing the last couple years, even through the coronavirus,” Hultberg said. “Baseball is one of the only sports that’s been able to play, so we have a lot of kids that are athletic and want to do something.”
Chehalis will open state play against West Seattle at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 24, in Woodinville, Washington.