Russell Kish Powers Malibu Little League All-Stars

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Russell Kish racked up 15 RBIs over the three games.

Kish it goodbye!

Not once, not twice, but three times. And the icing on the cake: how about two grand slams in the same inning?

Russell Kish of the Malibu Little League (MLL) 11-12 All-Stars did just that. With his team facing elimination, Kish stepped up and had a game for the history books on July 1 at Memorial Park in Santa Monica.

The powerful 5-foot-1 spark plug went 4-for-4, with three home runs, two grand slams and 12 RBIs in a 20-3 rout over Culver Marina in the District 25 11-12 All-Star Tournament.

“That was the best game I’ve ever had,” 12-year-old Kish said.

The day began with Malibu needing a win to continue its journey through the consolation bracket. The MLL All-Stars had defeated Santa Monica West, 7-6, and lost to Ladera Heights, 13-4, in previous games in the double-elimination tournament.

Malibu took an early 5-0 lead after one inning with Kish contributing a two-run single. In the top of the second inning, Kish smacked a two-run home run over the right field fence, giving MLL a 7-0 advantage.

Culver fought back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the third off of a couple of walks and hit batsmen to make it 7-3 MLL at the end of three innings.

Malibu quickly loaded the bases with three consecutive hits in the top of the fourth, setting the stage for Kish. On the first pitch he saw, Kish promptly drove a high fastball over the centerfield scoreboard. The grand slam made it 11-3 in favor of Malibu.

“After the first grand slam, I felt amazing because I’ve never had two home runs before in a game,” he said. “Especially it being a grand slam was pretty insane.”

Malibu batted around again, scoring four more runs before Kish stepped to the plate, with the bases loaded for the second time in the fourth inning. Kish crushed a 2-0 inside fastball to deep left field for a monstrous and majestic grand slam home run, his second of the inning.

The ball sailed clear over four lanes of Olympic Blvd., crashing off the side of The Buffalo Club restaurant and ricocheting off a black Mercedes, an estimated distance of 300 feet. As Kish rounded the bases, the fans were ecstatic and his teammates and coaches in awe of his ‘Ruthian’ effort.

Even Kish himself was at a loss for words when it happened.

“I waited for the right pitch and they threw one in my wheelhouse and I just hit it really hard,” said Kish. “I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh! Wow. How far is that ball going to go?’ It was really shocking because I hit the ball perfectly square.”

Little League might not be comparable to the Major Leagues, but consider this. A mere 13 players have ever hit two grand slams in the same game in Major League history. Only one has accomplished the same feat as Kish did, hitting two in one inning.

Former St. Louis Cardinal Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the top of the third inning against the Dodgers on April 23, 1999, at Dodger Stadium. He is the only player in MLB history to hit two grand slams in one inning.

Joshua Stern struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth picking up the complete game win as MLL finished off Culver Marina, 20-3, under the mercy rule.

In earlier tournament action, Malibu defeated Santa Monica West, 7-6, after jumping out to a 6-0 lead at the end of two innings. Santa Monica scored three runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game.

Bowen Brock’s RBI single plated Trumann Gettings to give Malibu a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the fourth. MLL hung on for the win setting up a contest against defending champion Ladera Heights.

Malibu took a 4-0 lead in the second inning, highlighted by home runs from Carson Baer and Jake Friedman. Ladera fought back and controlled the rest of the game.

As of press time, Malibu was scheduled to play West Los Angeles in its next elimination game this past Monday. MLL needed to win four games in four days to advance to the Section 4 Tournament.

“Our team has been doing pretty good. We’ve been fighting and working hard every day,” Kish said. “Every game we are doing our best. We have a really good team. I think we can do it if we keep playing hard.”

A grand slam here and there wouldn’t hurt either.