North Coos is going to have to come through the loser’s bracket if the Waterfront hopes to win the Pacific Northwest Class A American Legion title.
The Waterfront suffered from both an uncharacteristically sloppy defense and missed opportunities on offense in a 16-3 loss to the Cody Cubs, the Wyoming state champions, on the opening day of the regional tournament in Lewiston, Idaho, on Friday.
To win the title, North Coos would need to win five straight games over the next four days.
Against Cody, North Coos got the leadoff runner on base in each of the first two innings — Jake Simmons with a walk and Dallas McGill with a single — but was unable to execute a bunt to move them up to scoring position and ultimately failed to score.
Cody broke the scoreless tie in the third inning aided by a pair of errors — the second on a wild-pitch third strike that resulted in a bad throw to first base with two outs.
The real damage started an inning later, though, when Cody added five runs, including two on bases-loaded walks. Keegan Brown had a two-run double and Jordan Wasia had a sacrifice fly.
North Coos starter Mane Freeman saw his pitching day end early in the inning when he walked three of the first four batters, the fourth reaching base on a bunt single. As was often the case during the game, North Coos missed a chance to help itself when Freeman had the first base runner picked off first, but an error kept the Waterfront from recording the out at second.
The Cubs got another run in the fifth, this time on a passed ball, and scored three more in the sixth, two coming home on a single by Cooper Brown.
That gave Cody a 10-0 lead. North Coos avoided losing early by the 10-run rule by scraping across its first run. McGill started the inning with his second single of the game. He was out at second on a fielder’s choice grounder by Lucas Moe, but Moe scored when Javier Analco crushed a ball that hit the wall on one hop for a double.
But Analco’s hit only extended the game an inning and Cody added six more runs in the seventh. Devyn Engdahl and Jared Grenz both had triples in the inning — Grenz bringing in two runs with his. Brown had his fourth hit of the game to bring in a run and Tristan Blatt had a double. Jack Harris had his third RBI of the game.
After its slow start, Cody finished with 12 hits, to go with numerous walks, one hit batter, two batters reaching base on wild pitches or passed balls after third strikes and six North Coos errors.
Cody, meanwhile, committed no errors, and got a stellar pitching outing from Heston Williams, who pitched the first six innings, allowing six hits.
North Coos added two runs in the seventh. Simmons walked, Brendon Roberts had his second hit of the day and Jayden Frank and Corbin White had RBI singles.
North Coos used four pitchers in the game — Freeman, Moe, Frank and Kyle Barnes.
McGill will take the hill Saturday as North Coos tries to extend the season in what it hopes is the first of several elimination-game wins.
“We will give it our best,” said North Coos coach Quintin Hall, filling in for head coach Brad Horning, who is on a long-planned family vacation.
Cody (Wyoming) 16, North Coos 3
Heston Williams, Ethan Johnston (7) and catcher na; Mane Freeman, Lucas Moe (4), Jayden Frank (5), Kyle Barnes (6) and Seth Cheser, Ian Spalding (5). 2B—Cod: Tristan Blatt; NC: Javier Analco. 3B—Cod: Devyn Engdahl, Jared Grenz.