Special to the Reporter
The Kirkland National Little League AA Yankees won its league championship with a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Astros.
The Yankees struck first by scoring five runs in the third inning, mixing four hits and four walks to grab the lead. The Astros answered with three runs in the fourth and two runs in the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees rallied for four more behind back-to-back doubles from Owen Gregori and Casey Burke and then a two-run homer from Treyson Dill. After fighting back to 9-8, the Astros had the tying run on third with two outs, but a strikeout from Yankees relief pitcher Parker Larsen ended the comeback and the game.
Yankee pitchers Christian Wolszczak, Burke, Collin Blanchard, Dill and Larsen combined to give up only four hits and strike out 16. Yankee hitters were Gregori (double, single and three RBIs), Burke (double, two walks and an RBI), Dill (triple, homer, walk and three RBIs), Wolszczak (double, walk and an RBI), Carson Scheaffer (double) and Blanchard (single and an RBI). David Santiago walked and scored twice and Luke Burns caught the majority of a great game behind the plate.
The Yankees finished the 2019 KNLL season undefeated at 17-0-1. Its roster is mostly players from Keller and Frost elementary schools, coached by KNLL alumni Chris Burke and Casey Dill.