Ryder Spencer made sure Western Hills Little League (Austin) would fight another day.
The Western Hills righty held Post Oak Little League (Houston) to three singles while striking out seven in a 4-0 complete-game shutout victory Tuesday at Randy Womble Field in the Texas East State Championship.
The win means the same two teams meet again at 10 a.m. Wednesday with the winner advancing to the Little League (Major) Southwest Regional Championships in Waco.
Post Oak entered the game one win away from clinching the Texas East State title for a second consecutive year. Post Oak is also attempting to make a return trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the Little League World Series.
Facing elimination, Western Hills did not waste any time, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Holland Page led off with a single against Post Oak starter Preston Sullivan. An error allowed Nate Kay to reach first and Sullivan raced around to third, putting runners on the corners for Spencer. The pitcher helped himself with a single to score Page with courtesy runner Bodie Spencer scoring a minute later on a wild pitch with Ryder Spencer going to third.
With one out, Sullivan induced a potential double-play ball. Post Oak got the lead runner at second, but Brody Wilhelm’s hustle beat the throw at first as Ryder Spencer crossed home to make it 3-0.
Any chance of Post Oak making a comeback was put to rest, thanks to the dominance of Ryder Spencer on the mound. Ryder Spencer retired Post Oak in order in the first two innings, gave up a two-out single in the third which was quickly nullified by a groundout and worked around a one-out single in the top of the fourth.
Prior to that, he received an extra run of support from Wilhelm, who crushed a pitch off Post Oak reliever Michael Peavy over the center-field wall for a solo homer. It was one of only two hits Peavy allowed after relieving Sullivan in the first.
Post Oak made one final rally attempt in the top of the sixth as Ben Barnett reached on a one-out walk and Ryan Stinneford singled. Ryder Spencer fanned the next two batters to end the game.