Cd’A gets off to great start at Little League regional

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — An 11-run first inning? Now that’s how you start a regional tournament.

The Coeur d’Alene 12-year-old Little League team, representing Idaho at the Northwest Regional, scored 11 runs in the first inning and bashed out 12 hits overall to defeat Washington 16-6 in five innings Sunday at Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif.

“We’ve been working real hard with the bats, and tonight everybody, Nos. 1 through 13, came through and had some great swings against Washington’s ace (pitcher),” Cd’A coach Sean Cherry said. “It was an incredible start to the game — Washington didn’t know what hit ’em.

“It was a great win and we just want to keep it going.”

Braeden Newby used two strikeouts to hold the West Seattle squad scoreless in the top of the first, then Coeur d’Alene got its offense rolling in the bottom of the inning.

Jake Dannenberg, Avrey Cherry and Cooper Smith each knocked in two runs with singles, and Austin DeBoer’s RBI single put the Idahoans ahead 10-0. DeBoer scored the 11th run on an error.

Coeur d’Alene added two runs in the third on a passed ball and RBI groundout, then clinched the win in the fifth with three runs.

Kyle Seman put Cd’A ahead 15-6 with an RBI double, then then Smith scored the game-clinching run on a passed ball.

Down 13-0, Washington regrouped with a six-run fourth inning which included a two-run double by Parker Eli and an RBI single by Blake Taft.

Newby earned the win for Coeur d’Alene, allowing one run on four hits over three-plus innings, with four strikeouts. Christopher Reynolds, Seman and DeBoer closed out the win on the mound.

Idaho also played the game without committing a fielding error.

“We wanted to pull Newby after 65 pitches, so he could pitch again on Thursday,” coach Cherry said. “We asked some kids who haven’t pitched much lately to step up, and they did.

“Austin DeBoer did a fantastic job, and Kyle Seman — who’s only thrown one inning during all-stars — threw strikes and got outs on some of their best hitters.”

Coeur d’Alene advances to face Wyoming’s representative, Gillette Little League, at 7 tonight. Wyoming received a bye on Sunday.

Cherry said it helped his team to have 24 hours to acclimate to the heat of southern California and the big-event atmosphere.

“It’s hot down here, but the kids had a good workout, we got some food in ’em and kept them hydrated, and they really responded and played some of their best baseball right out of the gate,” Cherry added.

Today’s morning game matches up teams from Juneau, Alaska, and Billings, Mont. The Gastineau Channel team from Juneau topped Beaverton, Ore., 2-1 in Sunday’s opener.

Oregon and Washington return to action on Tuesday in loser-out games.

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