North Coos is headed back to the Pacific Northwest American Legion baseball regionals in Wyoming after repeating as Oregon single-A champions last week in Roseburg.
Three Reedsport players had key roles in the Waterfront winning a second straight title, all taking the mound at some point during the week and also making contributions on offense.
North Coos won five games in five days at Legion Field in Roseburg, culminating in a 12-2 win over Alpenrose Dairy of Portland in the championship game last Wednesday after Alpenrose handed North Coos its only loss of the tournament 7-6 earlier in the day.
Tyler Thornton, AJ Stoltey and Jacob Chaney all had big weeks for the Waterfront. Nathan Logo of Reedsport did not get into any of the games at the state tournament.
North Coos now heads to Cody, Wyoming, for the regionals this week.
“It will be fun,” said Chaney who, like Thornton, will be in the regional for the first time. Stoltey was with North Coos in Wyoming last summer.
“I think we’re going to keep up the good work,” he said.
North Coos was phenomenal on offense throughout the state tournament, with at least 11 hits in all six games and a total of 71 runs for the week.
“It’s really a crazy number to get that many hits,” North Coos coach Brad Horning said.
During the week, North Coos beat Central Point 14-2, La Grande 8-0, Alpenrose Dairy 18-8 and Roseburg Pepsi 13-8 to set up the final day, when North Coos split the two games with the Red Sox.
“I think we played a lot of good games — a lot of good baseball,” Thornton said.
North Coos nearly rallied from a 6-1 deficit in the first game Wednesday, but ended up coming up short when Thornton struck out with the bases loaded for the final out in the seventh inning.
He had one hit in the game, but took the strikeout personally, and came back in the second game with three hits, including a triple, two runs and an RBI.
“I took it to heart,” he said. “I knew I had to come back.”
Chaney also had three hits in the final game, scoring one run and driving in another. Stoltey had a two-run single to help North Coos put the game out of reach.
For the week, Thornton had 12 hits, 10 runs and four RBIs. Chaney had seven hits, including a double, six runs and three RBIs. Stoltey, who played all six games but was only in the batting lineup for four of them, had five hits, including a double, and six RBIs.
All three also spent time on the mound. Thornton pitched a complete game shutout against La Grande, giving up four hits and striking out 11.
Chaney finished two of the games on the mound, striking out a total of three hitters in four innings. One of the games he finished was the one against Roseburg Pepsi, which Stoltey started and pitched four strong innings before struggling in the fifth.
The amazing thing, Horning said, was that none of the pitchers who threw last week threw any pitches during last year’s state tournament.
Horning said winning back-to-back titles “is a huge deal, (especially since) we did it without any returning pitching.”
The Reedsport players were looking forward to the long drive to this week’s adventure.
“It will be fun,” said Chaney. “It’s good to play more baseball.”