There was no doubt about the Columbia team’s desire in its opening game of Little League Baseball’s 11- and 12-year-old Midwest Regional on Sunday.
Columbia’s National League All-Stars beat the Kansas champions 15-4 in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule. Each of the 10 Columbia players scored at least one run.
“The kids really have been champing at the bit to play Kansas,” coach Mark Pfeiffer said. “Our mantra every night before we go to bed has been ‘Beat Kansas.’”
Columbia moves on to play South Dakota at 2:45 p.m. today.
The National League All-Stars are the first Columbia Little League team to play in regional competition. If it wins the tournament it would go to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn.
Against Columbia on Sunday, Kansas scored its runs in the top of the first inning. Columbia ended the run with a double play with two players in scoring position, then responded with seven runs in the bottom of the inning.
Robert DeGraaff (4-0 in the postseason) threw a complete game, striking out seven and walking none. Cole Wiser ended the game with a walk-off grand slam.
Wiser will get the start today against South Dakota.