SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Dalton Chandler came on in relief and struggled Thursday for the Sammamish team in its Little League World Series opener. Then he stepped up to the plate and turned things around.
“The hitting made me feel a little better,” Chandler said. “I was still a little nervous.”
Chandler allowed three runs before hitting a single, double and triple in four plate appearances, and Sammamish beat Corpus Christi, Texas, 8-4.
Jack Carper had a home run among his three hits, and Nathan Fitzgibbons drove in two runs for the Northwest champions, who advanced to a winner’s bracket game Sunday against Westport, Conn., a 3-2 winner over South Nashville, Tenn.
Sammamish built a 4-0 lead in the first inning, and manager Rob Chandler — Dalton’s dad — planned to pull starter Jacob Dahlstrom after about 50 pitches.
Corpus Christi had two runners on base in the third inning when Dahlstrom left after 53 pitches and Dalton Chandler took the mound.
“We had a game plan that he’d go 50 (pitches) and we’d try to preserve pitch counts,” Rob Chandler said.
Before Dalton Chandler recorded an out, he walked two, allowed a base hit and threw a wild pitch, allowing Corpus Christi to cut its deficit to 5-4.
Will Armbruester and Jack Matheson followed Chandler to the mound over the final three innings and limited Corpus Christi to two hits to preserve the win.
“Our kids are tough when it comes to the pressure side of things,” Rob Chandler said. “That’s a big reason why we’re here.
Corpus Christi will face South Nashville on Saturday.
In the international bracket, Tijuana, Mexico, beat Perth, Australia, 14-0, in four innings because of the 10-run mercy rule, and Aguadulce, Panama, beat San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, 9-4.