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LITTLE LEAGUE: Kent 9-10 Stars take second at state tournament

Kent
Kent's 9-10 All-Star team took second at last week's state tournament in Shoreline. (Front row, left to right) Kyle Combs, Dominic Agron, Jordon Wright, Zach Archibald, Mateo Hernandez, Ryan An. (Back Row left to right) Manager Steve Wright, Cade Harris, Matt Franceschina, Jacob Cox, coach Gary Combs, Jacob Booth, Jacob Moore, Shane Nagel, and coach Ernie Hernandez.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

They delivered a big comeback in the state semifinals.

But the Kent 9-10 Little League All-Stars couldn’t sustain the momentum on Saturday in the state championship game at Shoreline Park in Seattle.

A day after storming back to beat Central Vancouver 11-10 thanks to a seven-run sixth-inning rally, the Kent Stars fell just short in a 13-12 loss to Bellevue East in the championship game.

“The kids had fun. They never thought they couldn’t do it,” said coach Steve Wright. “It was an incredible ride. Any time you start an All-Star season, you don’t know where you stand or how far you’ll go. And this is the first time these kids are put out against the state’s best, so it’s a little nerve racking for them, and for the coaches.

Bellevue East was the lone team of the tournament to knock off Kent.

Shane Nagel and Cade Harris led the way in the win over Central Vancouver as each collected two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. Kyle Combs picked up the win on the mound, allowing two earned runs in three innings of work.

While Kent’s offense continued to surge in the championship game, it struggled defensively, allowing seven unearned runs in the loss.

Matt Franceschina, who blasted three home runs in a state-opening win over PacWest, delivered a three-run shot in the championship game while Nagel chipped in a two-run blast of his own. Combs, Harris and Mateo Hernandez all collected two hits apiece in the loss. Dominic Agron led the way on the mound, allowing one earned run and striking out three in three innings of work.

“It was a lot of fun,” Wright said. “Hopefully this group can get together (for All-Stars) next year.”

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