Union County’s Ryan Adams stretches for first base in the first inning of the championship game against The Dalles Saturday in Baker City. Union County lost the game, 8-5. (Kathy Orr/WesCom News Service)
15 year olds fall to The Dalles in North Oregon State championship game
BAKER CITY — The Union County 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team came up short of a state title, falling to The Dalles, 8-5, Saturday in the North Oregon State Tournament championship game.
Union County had won its first five games of the tournament before losing to The Dalles.
“(The Dalles) were a good team,” Union County manager Matt Duncan said. “We just couldn’t get anything going against them.”
After Union County scored one run in the top of the first inning, The Dalles struck for four runs on three errors in the bottom of the first. The Dalles batted nine players in the inning.
TD led 7-2 when Union County rallied with two runs in the fifth inning. Ross Duncan scored on an Isaiah Cranford double. Cranford came home on a single by Jake Workinger.
Union County cut the deficit to 7-5 when Jordan Vermillion scored in the sixth inning. The Dalles made it a three-run game with a run of its own in the bottom of the sixth.
“Their three, four and five hitters all hit the ball well,” Duncan said. “They didn’t sit back and wait. They were aggressive at the plate and on the base paths.”
Union County was in position to rally in the seventh, but The Dalles turned a double play on a fly ball to center field that led to Alec Cranford getting thrown out at home to end it.
“We faced better pitchers in the tournament, but we just couldn’t get that timely hit,” Duncan said. “And when we did, it was right at people.”
Workinger started the game and went three innings before getting relieved by Ryan Adams.
Ray Jiminez had two hits and three stolen bases. Duncan scored two runs, Isaiah Cranford had a double and an RBI. Workinger had two singles and an RBI, and Adams had a double.
“We worked hard and the kids learned a lot,” Duncan said. “There was no sadness or tears at the end. The boys showed me a lot of maturity. It was very nice for me to see that some of the things I’ve said have rubbed off on them.”
Union County was given the Sportsmenship Award by the umpires.
“The umpires liked the way our boys played,” Duncan said. “They heard very little negativity from our players. All-in-all it was just a great run for these kids.”
Union County 6, Snake River Valley 2
Union County defeated Snake River Valley, 6-2, in the semifinals. UC overcame a 2-1 deficit and scored three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Duncan had two singles and four RBIs. Isaiah Cranford got the win, pitching four innings and striking out four. Adams started and struck out two.