SANDPOINT, Idaho — When the Moscow Blue Devils fell behind by three runs out of the gate, coach Stan Mattoon looked at his players’ faces to gauge their reaction.
“My kids never wavered, never blinked,” he said.
The Devils, who had a two-for-one shot at the district Class A Legion baseball title, won on their first try Sunday, rallying to take a 15-4 mercy-rule victory in five innings over the Lewis-Clark Cubs.
That punched the Devils’ tickets to the Idaho Class A state tournament, which will open July 30 in Burley, Idaho.
The Cubs, whose season is finished, went 3-2 at Districts while Moscow went 3-0 at the double elimination tournament.
Hayden Thompson pitched the entirety of the contest for the Devils (30-9), scattering four hits.
“He had wonderful command of his fastball and changeup and he mixed them up really well,” Mattoon said. “And the balls that were hit, our defense did a really good job (of corralling). We were pretty solid in the infield.”
Marcus Delusa, Barrett Abendroth and Kyle Lynas had three RBI apiece. Delusa went 3-for-3 at the plate and got the scoring started for the Devils in the third.
Following a double steal by Lynas and Ryan Delusa, Marcus Delusa brought them both home with one of his two doubles. After that, Chad Redinger and Abendroth notched run-scoring hits in the next two at-bats to push their team’s lead to 8-3, and Billy Adams later singled to score Abendroth. All those runs came with two outs.
“(Marcus) Delusa ... was very instrumental in getting us going,” Mattoon said. “On one of his hits, he realized the cutoff was not lined up correctly, and he basically turned a single into a double, did a head-first dive. And as soon as that happened, I could feel we were in a good place.
“So I want to give credit to Marcus for lighting our fire offensively. He just had a very, very good tournament. A very good tourament.”
Adams went 3-for-4 while Ryan Delusa, Lynas and Redinger all went 2-for-3 on Sunday.
“It’s been fun to see the smiles on their faces as they realize that, ‘Hey, we have a pretty good team here,’ ” Mattoon said. “But this is just the first step. They’re not done.
“They want to go to State and they want to represent their district and their town. They feel like they’ve still got some baseball to play and they’re excited, so it’s hard not to be excited for them.”
Lewis-Clark Cubs 300 01—4 7 2
Moscow Blue Devils 315 6x—15 17 0
Chance, Kachmitter (4) and Edmisson. Hayden Thompson and CJ Anderson.
Cubs hits — Edmisson, Taylor, Kaschmitter, Chance, Larsen 3.
Blue Devils hits — Chad Redinger 2 (2-2B), Barrett Abendroth 2, Hayden Thompson, Billy Adams 3, Kyle Lynas 2 (2B), CJ Anderson, Ryan Delusa 2, Peyton Waters, Marcus Delusa (2-2B).
Saturday Legion Games
University 13, Cougars 5
SPOKANE — The Whitman County Cougars were foiled by errors for a second straight game, committing eight in a season-ending loss to University of Spokane at a district tournament.
The Cougars had committed seven errors in a loss the day before.
Whitman County’s errors against University foiled a gem from pitcher Tyler Elbracht, who didn’t give up an earned run while going the distance.
“He threw so well today,” Cougars coach Pat Doumit said. “He just kept giving us chance after chance to try to do something. He’s a pitch-to-contact guy and we’ve gotta be able to play behind him.”
The Cougars, who wrapped up their year 25-12-1, went 1-2 at Districts.
Elliott Lee went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and Brendan Doumit was 2-for-4 while coming home once.
“It’s tough. It doesn’t diminish a good summer,” Pat Doumit said of his team’s loss. “This was a great group to be around. I’ve had a lot of these guys for years. So it’s really enjoyable to see them keep playing and keep getting better from summer to summer.”
Whitman County 101 111 0— 5 10 8
University 300 163 x—13 10 2
Tyler Elbracht and Elliott Lee. Morton, Hood (5), Hiatt (6), Blahuczyn (7) and Maulsby.
Whitmany County hits —Gavin Shrope, Brendan Doumit 2, Marcus Hilliard, Elliott Lee 3, Nick Strenge (2B), Braden Plummer, Joseph Bendel.
University hits — Blahuczyn, Maulsby 2, Hiatt, Rees (2B), Hood, Brummett, Dehn, Morton.
Wild 14, Patriots 4
SPOKANE — The Palouse Patriots saw their season come to an end at Districts with a loss to the Mt. Spokane Wild at Jackson Field.
Mitch LaVielle led the Patriots with two RBI while Nate Akesson had a solo homer, Payton Kallaher had a run-scoring hit and Konner Kinkade had two doubles.
The Patriots (16-20) led early before seven straight runs by the Wild in the second and third frames put Palouse into a five-run hole.
Mt. Spokane 043 412—14 12 0
Palouse 201 001— 4 6 2
Jeter Schuerman, Jimmy Lucas (6) and Trevor Mason. Carson Coulter, Reece Chadwick (3), Peter Smith (4), Konner Kinkade (6) and Tristan Wilson.
Mt. Spokane Wild hits — Zane Baker (2B), Carson Coffield 2 (2-2B), Brandon Ivanich 2, Jeter Schuerman 2, Jose Renteria (2B), Tommy Madill 2 (2B), Jaxson Davis, Trevor Mason (3B).
Palouse Patriots — Konner Kinkade 2 (2-2B), Payton Kallaher, Mitch LaVielle, Reece Chadwick, Nate Akesson (HR).