SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - An explosive fifth inning Friday night carried Lake Oswego, Oregon, to a 12-1 win over the Boulder/Arrowhead Little League Baseball 11-12 Majors All-Stars, and a ticket to next week's Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Tied 1-1 in the fifth, Lake Oswego delivered back-to-back hits and loaded the bases with nobody out. Chase Kelly then grounded back to Oliver Prill who opened the inning in relief of B/A starter Jaxon King. Prill threw to second base attempting to start a double play, but a tough catch was dropped allowing Oregon a 2-1 lead.
Prill gave way to Matteo Harris before shifting to center field, but Oregon's onslaught continued as Lake Oswego scored eight in the inning for a 9-1 margin.
King, who had only thrown two game pitches this season before suffering a shoulder injury in March, carried the early load for Boulder/Arrowhead at Friday's Northwest Regional in San Bernardino, Calif.
The right-hander fired a one, two, three inning to start the game, capped by a line drive catch on the mound. King's breaking ball was sharp on the way to retiring eight of the first nine batters.
Lake Oswego loaded the bases with one out in the fourth before a passed ball allowed Ben Robertson to score from third for a 1-0 lead. King struck out the next two batters to get out of the jam and end his night. He gave up one unearned run on only one hit in four innings while striking out three and exiting after 62 pitches.
Offensively, Micah Coghlan equalized for Billings in the bottom of the fourth when he jacked a deep double over the center fielder's head scoring Matteo Harris to tie it, 1-1.
Defensively, Zach McDonald vacuumed up several early ground balls at third base to hold Oregon at bay. McDonald and Harris led B/A offensively finishing 2-for-3 at the plate.
Robertson, Lake Oswego's starting pitcher, went the distance allowing one earned run on six hits for the win. He threw 76 pitches.
B/A reached Friday's undefeated semifinal before falling 10-4 to Eastlake Little League from Sammamish, Washington. Billings opened the regional with a come-from-behind 6-5 win over Idaho.
Boulder/Arrowhead earned the Northwest Regional berth after sweeping Missoula Mount Jumbo Westside in a best-of-three state tournament series.
Lake Oswego will meet Eastlake Washington in Saturday's regional championship. Both advance to the Little League World Series starting Thursday, August 19.