SAN BERNARDINO,CALIF. - Chandler National passed a tough first test Friday afternoon at the Little League West Regional.
Skyler Palermo and Kyle Pechloff combined on a twohitter, but Chandler National still needed an extra inning to beat Northern California champion San Jose Moreland 6-2 at Al Houghton Stadium.
Chandler National scored four times in the top of the seventh to win the game. Palermo walked and scored during the winning rally, and Pechloff hit an RBI single.
Chandler National plays Snow Canyon of Santa Clara, Utah, at 9 a.m. today in its second game of pool play. The Utah champion lost its opener to the Nevada champion 15-0.
Palermo went three innings and struck out three. Pechloff pitched four innings of no-hit ball and fanned five.
James Ziegler opened the Chandler National seventh with a single. Dalton Krum attempted to bunt him over but was hit with a pitch.
Reliever Steven Wright uncorked a wild pitch, moving up Ziegler and pinch runner Boston Whitlow. Wright walked Palermo, and the pitch went to the screen.
Ziegler scored to make it 3-2.
Two outs later, Cody Bellinger hit a ball sharply that the second baseman couldn’t handle, allowing Whitlow and Palermo to score.
After Luke Parrish walked, Pechloff delivered an RBI single to score Bellinger and make it 6-2.
“We’re used to being a little more in control,’’ Chandler National manager Jeff Parrish said.
Parrish said a game like this was good for his team. “You play a tough team, it makes you a better team,’’ he said. “I’m sure NorCal feels the same way.”
Though Palermo and Pechloff only allowed two hits, they said the Northern California champion presented a real challenge.
“It was hard,’’ Palermo said.
“Their one through five hitters were the toughest we’d seen,’’ Pechloff said.
San Jose Moreland starter Kane Wolfe was tough, too. He struck out 10 in 4 2/3 innings but had to be pulled when he reached 85 pitches, the limit under new Little League rules.
Wolfe gave up a leadoff single to Seth Fretheim to start the game, then breezed through the Chandler National lineup until Fretheim came up again with two gone in the third.
Wolfe got two strikes on him, then threw something low and offspeed. Fretheim launched it over the left-field fence to make it 1-0.
Bellinger singled, and Luke Parrish followed with a triple to right, giving Chandler National a 2-0 lead.
San Jose Moreland came back in the bottom of the third. Wolfe broke up Palermo’s no-hitter with a single. John Bognanno was hit with a pitch. Wolfe stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
Sean Downey singled to drive in Bognanno and tie the game.
Pechloff started the fourth. After striking out the first batter, he got into a jam. He hit Jason Sutton and Wolfe reached on an error. Pechloff got out of it with an unusual double play. He fielded a grounder and threw to Parrish at third. Parrish threw to Zielger at first to complete the double play.
“It’s a pitcher’s best friend,’’ Jeff Parrish said. “We bobbled a few, but the defense made the plays when we needed them.”
Little League West Regional
When: Through Aug. 11 Where: San Bernardino, Calif.
CHANDLER NATIONAL’S SCHEDULE Today vs. Snow Canyon (Santa Clara, Utah), 9 a.m. Tuesday vs. Green Valley (Henderson, Nev.), 8 p.m. Wednesday vs. Waipio, Hawaii, 11:45 a.m. Thursday semifinals, 4 and 8 p.m. (top four teams qualify) Aug. 11 championship, 6 p.m. on ESPN