The South Coast 13-year-old all-star team had the best showing of South Coast Babe Ruth’s three squads in the Pacific Northwest regional tournaments last week, finishing third in the event at Ferndale, Wash.
“It was great,” said Scott Moffitt, the manager of the squad. “We played great baseball playing teams that played 30 to 50 games each.”
The South Coast’s 14-year-old team just missed a spot in the semifinals at its regional in North Bend while the 13- to 15-year-old team won one of its four games in its regional tournament at Kelso, Wash., with those tournaments also held last week.
In the 13-year-old tournament, South Coast played well despite fielding a squad that included players from several communities and didn’t get many games together as a tuneup before the tournament.
South Coast made the long trip almost to the Washington-Canada border and started great, with wins in its first two games.
“I’m super proud of the kids,” Moffitt said. “We were small-town kids playing big-time baseball.”
South Coast opened with a 15-5 win over Kelso, Wash., and beat Bitterroot, Mont., 9-6 on the second day, clinching a spot in the semifinals.
South Coast fell to the host team, Whatcom Prep of Washington, 15-3 in its final game of pool play and then lost to Portland 11-1 in the semifinals.
Entering the semifinals, the South Coast club collectively had an on-base percentage of better than .500 and a high team batting average as well, Moffitt said.
“We ran into a buzz saw of a pitcher against Portland,” Moffitt said, adding that overall South Coast showed well.
“We held our own,” he said, adding “It was a great experience for them.”
The entire team played well, Moffitt said, adding that the top players on the team were “ace pitcher” Jake Sproul of Myrtle Point and shortstop Jordan Pitcher of Florence.
Portland ultimately lost to Puyallup 5-3 in the championship game, with Puyallup advancing to the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, N.Y.
13- to 15-year-olds
South Coast won its first game in the tournament last week, but came up short in the other games.
In the opener, South Coast beat Meridian, Idaho, 10-2.
But the next day, South Coast gave up a big lead and fell to Glacier, Mont., 18-16 in a high-scoring contest.
The third day, South Coast fell to Camas Washougal, Wash., 4-1, and the local club lost its final game to Longview-Ilwaco, Wash., 7-1.
Ultimately, the host team of the tournament, Kelso, beat Camas Washougal 4-2 in the championship game to advance to the Babe Ruth World Series at Eagle Pass, Texas.