Sports

Bellevue East Little League wins first state title

The Bellevue East 9-10 state champions: (top row, left to right) Paxton Klein, Noah Shaw, Naoki Harmer, John Buscher, Lucas Allen, Gunner Styer, coach Paul Styer; (middle row) District 9 representative Sunday Stray, manager Terry Taylor, Ian Rasmussen, Nimi Boazi, Zane Baker; (kneeling) Michael Chang, James Sullivan - Courtesy photo
The Bellevue East 9-10 state champions: (top row, left to right) Paxton Klein, Noah Shaw, Naoki Harmer, John Buscher, Lucas Allen, Gunner Styer, coach Paul Styer; (middle row) District 9 representative Sunday Stray, manager Terry Taylor, Ian Rasmussen, Nimi Boazi, Zane Baker; (kneeling) Michael Chang, James Sullivan
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Bellevue East boys All-Stars won the 9-10 Little League state championship Saturday in exciting fashion, knocking off Kent Little League 13-12 at Shoreview Park in Shoreline.

The game saw five lead changes and 34 hits between the two teams. Lucas Allen pitched the final four innings, allowing three runs and also contributed on offense, going 3 for 3 with a walk and an RBI to lead the team offensively.

Kent didn't go quietly however, scoring their 12th run of the game and putting the tying run on third with one out. Allen got the next batter to pop out and then, on his final allowable pitch of the day, got the final out on another pop out for the state championship.

It was the first state title won by a boys Little League team from the boundaries of Bellevue East. The team had previously become the first Bellevue East team to even win the District 9 title.

Bellevue East rolled through the tournament, going 5-0. The team defeated Mill Creek 5-3 in the opening game of the tournament as John Buscher pitched three innings, allowing no hits and getting the win. Bellevue East defeated North Kitsap Nationals 11-1 in a mercy-rule shortened game and continued to roll by beating Woodinville 12-2 in another shortened contest.

Buscher, a left-hander, got his second win of the tournament by beating Kent 3-1 in the final round robin game.

Catcher Noah Shaw led the team in hitting during the tournament with a .625 batting average and a solo home run. Zane Baker hit a three-run home run against Woodinville and shortstop Paxton Klein hit .438 during the tournament.

The tournament featured 13 district champions from around the state.

The team is coached by Paul Styer and Terry Taylor is the manager. Eight of the 11 players played on the Majors Yankees team in Bellevue East that went 14-0 during the regular season. The team’s collective fielding percentage was over .850.

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