South moves on after Yuma West exits tournament
10-0 win moves Kingman squad to championship game
When Kingman South manager Jason Gary arrived Thursday at Southside Park for his team's semifinal game in the District 9 Little League 10-11 All Star Tournament, he didn't know what to expect.
Twenty-four hours earlier he had expected to play Yuma West after Yuma defeated Bullhead City Mohave 10-5 in Wednesday's opening round game. But after the game, tournament officials were recording the pitchers into the official books when it was discovered that Yuma didn't have proper documentation for the players who were used.
This created a long night for Kingman North Little League President Leigh Pitts, as the matter was taken all the way to Western Regional and Little League headquarters located in Williamsport, Pa., and from there it was out of Pitts' hands.
"I don't know what happened after that," Pitts said. "I don't know if they gave them the opportunity to get their book together and they said 'No.' I'm assuming they gave them the opportunity to get it together."
The indecision left Gary and his team, who defeated Kingman North 15-4 earlier in the day, in limbo, not knowing if they were playing Thursday or if they were automatically in Saturday's championship game.
"It was a kind of a yo-yo in terms of if we are playing or not," Gary said.
In the end, it was decided that Yuma would pull out of the tournament - meaning that Mohave Valley would play Kingman South and Kingman North would play the loser on Friday.
"We just showed up and if somebody else shows up then we will play them," Gary said. "If not then we are going to go and have some pizza."
For Gary, the pizza party will have to wait for another day as South jumped to a 2-0 lead after the first inning and cruised to a 10-0 win over Mohave Valley to advance to Saturday's championship game.
"We had solid at bats and good defense," Gary said. "We had some solid pitching by Donte (Bravo) and Kevin (Cossio) and their defense backed them up."
Bravo got the start and pitched two innings, giving up two hits while striking out four. Cossio pitched the final three innings and gave up three hits while striking out four and walking three.
Cossio got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning by getting the final out via his fourth strikeout of the game to preserve the shutout.
"We had the bases loaded there and he was able to pitch out of that jam," Gary said.
Bravo led South at the plate going 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles as Kingman added four runs in the third and fourth innings and added a run in the top of the sixth.
South played Kingman North Saturday in the championship game. The winner of the tournament advances to the state tournament that begins July 14 and will be hosted by Kingman North.