Jack Kyle and Brody Wilhelm were locked in an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel Wednesday morning at Randy Womble Field at Faulkner Park.
Once Wilhelm’s stint on the mound ended and Post Oak scratched a run across, Kyle took care of the rest as Post Oak (Houston) took a 1-0 win over Western Hills (Austin) in the championship game of the Little League Majors Texas East State Tournament.
Kyle pitched a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts.
It’s the second straight year for Post Oak to win the Texas East title — the only two times it has done so in its 62-year history. The win sends Post Oak to the Southwest Regional in Waco for the second straight year with a chance to make a repeat appearance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Post Oak took a 4-3 win over Western Hills in a winner’s bracket contest on Sunday. Western Hills evened the score with a 4-0 victory on Tuesday night — a rare setback for Post Oak.
“The boys are not really used to losing,” Post Oak manager Todd Barnett said. “They had lost one game in four years before that. We had a talk last night, and I told them that’s a good team on the other side. They’re going to hit you and the mouth, but you’ve got to get up and go get you some. They did that. We’re a pretty resilient team.”
Western Hills loaded the bases with just one out in the bottom of the first inning after a single by Evan Lung. Kyle got the next two batter to pop out to Caleb Pitts at second base to end the threat.
Kyle didn’t allow another hit until the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out the side in the second inning.
Western Hills got a runner to third base in the third inning, but Kyle worked his way out of trouble once again.
In the top of the fifth, Pitts led off with a single, and his teammates Canon Toon and Ben Barnett bunted him to third. A passed ball with two outs brought Pitts in to score the game’s only run.
After a quick out in the bottom of the sixth, Lung reached on an error and Wilhelm singled for Western Hills. Kyle bounced back with strikeouts of Brady Brown and Sebastian Henault to end the game.
Wilhelm pitched four-plus innings for Western Hills and allowed one run with six strikeouts. Lung pitched the final two innings.
Post Oak will take on the representative from Mississippi at 5 p.m. on Aug. 1 in Waco. The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network.