South Coast Babe Ruth’s two all-star teams are both a win away from advancing to the Pacific Northwest regionals after dominating victories Friday in the Southern Oregon State Tournament at Klamath Falls.
The 13- to 15-year-old team beat South Douglas County 11-1 in five innings and the 13-year-old team beat host Klamath Falls 13-3 in six innings.
If both teams win again Saturday, they will advance to the regionals. If they lose, they will need to win the final game in the best-of-three series.
The older South Coast team got a stellar pitching effort from Trace James and Jared Northrop, who limited South Douglas County to two hits.
“Our defense was solid and we had some short, efficient innings,” South Coast coach Floyd Montiel said.
South Coast took control of the game by scoring four runs in the first inning and put it away with six runs in the fifth.
Northrup had a double and Elijah Blankenship and Ezra Waterman each hit triples for South Coast.
Waterman, Nick Williams and Cobin Bouska each drove in two runs.
In the 13-year-old game, Landon Croff set the tone with three strong innings on the mound, allowing just one hit and a couple of unearned runs, coach Bruce Parry said.
Bailey Overton, a girl from Florence, also came up with a critical defensive play when she ran across left field to catch a pop fly in foul territory.
“It was right at the edge of her glove,” Parry said. “It was a really key play and critical out to end that inning.”
Luke Rhodes went 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI for South Coast. Beau Erickson and Noll Gederos each had two hits, two runs and an RBI.
Luke Parry had a double and Miguel Velazquez had a triple and an RBI single that ended the game early in the sixth inning.
The 13-year-old team includes players from Florence, Reedsport, Coos Bay and North Bend all in their first year of Babe Ruth playing together as all-stars for the first time.
“I can’t say enough good things about how they have jelled together as kids,” Bruce Parry said. “They are having fun. They are friends.
“We’ve been practicing for two weeks. Their hard work has paid off.”
If the 13- to 15-year-old team picks up another win, it will head to the regional tournament in Portland. If the 13-year-old squad goes on to win the state tournament, it’s regional will be north of the border in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.