MONTROSE — Pitching is hard enough, especially in an elimination game.
Crescenta Valley Landry’s Sporting Goods Major Baseball pitcher Anders Simmeth didn’t let it bother him one bit. More importantly, he gave his team a chance to win.
Simmeth struck out seven in five innings and Landry’s scored four runs on wild pitches Monday night to pick up a 4-2 win against the Tujunga Yankees in an elimination contest of the Tri-Cities District 16 Little League Tournament of Champions at Montrose Park.
The right-hander made 85 pitches to handcuff the Yankees and send Landry’s into another elimination game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against the Crescenta Valley Gangi Builders or Foothill South Beach at Babe Herman Field. The Gangi Builders and South Beach met later Monday evening at Montrose Park.
“I didn’t think about it being an elimination game,” said Simmeth, who allowed a two-run home run to Jake Cook in the bottom of the first inning. “I gave up that home run that put us behind, but I knew that I would have to just work harder.
“Then we got the lead and we kept it. It’s probably one of my better efforts.”
Simmeth allowed two hits, both in the first inning before recovering to keep the Yankees at bay. Landry’s reliever Tim Small retired the side in the sixth for a 10-pitch save.
Landry’s Coach Dan Mulcahey said Simmeth provided his team exactly what it needed to advance.
“He’s got ice water in his veins,” said Mulcahey, whose team collected three hits. “We know that he can come through.”
Landry’s opened the scoring in the first when Simmeth scored on a wild pitch uncorked by Cook. Cook’s homer gave the Yankees a short-lived 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning.
However, Loman Dunning and Tommy Moore scored on wild pitches tossed by Cook to give Landry’s a 3-2 lead in the second. Simmeth scored on another wild pitch launched by Cook to make it 4-2 in the third.
“It’s our home field, so the kids know when to put on the brakes and when they think they can score,” said Mulcahey, who got one hit apiece from Simmeth, Brayton Hammerli and Chase Sanford. “We take advantage of what’s given to us, and we get runners on and use up pitches.
“In the first game of an elimination bracket game, you are nervous. After that, you know where you stand.”
Simmeth retired 12 of the next 13 he faced following Cook’s home run.