Union County places third at district tourney
Despite numerous missed chances, Union County qualified for the Babe Ruth state tournament.
The all-star team, comprised of 13 and 14 year olds, bounced back from two straight losses with a 6-0 win over the Snake River Valley Americans to earn third place at the district tournament Sunday in the 15-and-under group in Ontario.
Andrew Peasley allowed just one hit over five innings of work in the third-place game, with Cody Dubray pitching the sixth inning for the save, with the pitchers striking out nine batters.
“The heat and the stress began to take a toll on Sunday, but our kids just never quit,” head coach Lee Atkinson said.
On Saturday, Union County blanked Harney County 15-0 in their third pool play contest. Logan Atkinson and Dubray combined for a one-hitter in five innings. Bryant Gerdes and G.T. Blackman were a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, and J.C. Leonard smacked an inside-the-park home run.
Later in the day, Union County suffered its first loss of the tournament, a 9-4 defeat at the hands of the Baker. Union County stranded seven runners on base, and held a 4-3 lead before giving up six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against Baker.
“Baker played solid defense, and we faced the best pitching of the tournament against them,” Atkinson said.
That win gave them the second seed after going 3-1 in pool play, but they fell to the Snake River Valley Nationals on Sunday, 12-10, in the semifinals. A defensive meltdown doomed Union County, as the Nationals scored seven runs off a couple of miscues in the fourth inning.
Union County managed to bounce back to beat the Americans, earning a trip to the state tournament, which begins July 24 back in Ontario.