Union County takes 3rd at state
After playing six games in the span of three days, the Union County Babe Ruth 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team finished in third place at the North Oregon state tournament.
Union defeated The Dalles 11-10 in eight innings in the third-place game Sunday, wrapping up a 4-2 weekend.
“They played great,” coach Mike Wisdom said. “They showed a lot of resiliency. They’ve improved tremendously from earlier in the year.”
Sunday’s victory was the second win over The Dalles in the tournament, but it was also the closest for UC.
After a scoreless first inning, Union put up two runs in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI by Garrett Vaughn and a pop up by Isaac Chamberlain that the first baseman couldn’t get to.
The Dalles answered with two runs of its own in the top of the third inning.
Denzel Arellano brought home a run on a throwing error by UC, followed by an RBI single by Preston Klindt to tie it.
But Union County regained the lead with a bases-loaded walk by Jake Workinger. A hit-by-pitch by Aaron Goss stretched the lead to 4-2.
From there the lead changed hands three times, with The Dalles striking for three runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth to lead 9-4.
“They were pretty tired. Three double headers on three consecutive days is pretty tough on 13 year olds. Especially on the pitching,” Wisdom said.
Despite the fatigue factor, Union County hung around.
An RBI double by Matthew Wisdom in the sixth inning, followed by a bases-loaded walk by Jon Gonzalez, cut the lead to 9-6.
After a walk by Workinger scored a run, Goss’ two-run single tied the game at nine and gave Union County new life.
But right when things were looking up, The Dalles was able to scratch across the go-ahead run in the seventh on an RBI single by Cash Mathewson.
“I was surprised,” Coach Wisdom said of how close the game was. “Especially because I know we can play better than that.”
With a loss looming in the bottom of the seventh, Union County came through on a game-tying, RBI single by the younger Wisdom to tie the game at 10 and send it to extra innings.
After The Dalles failed to do anything in the top of the eighth, UC loaded the bases up in the bottom half before Elias Siltanen drew a walk to bring home Gonzalez as the winning run.
“I like their patience a lot. You don’t want to get over anxious. You want to make them throw strikes,” Coach Wisdom said.
Goss earned the win on the mound, striking out two in three innings of work in relief.
He also was two for four with two RBIs. Wisdom was two for four with a run batted in.
Aaron Maney drove in a pair of runs for The Dalles.
The victory closed a wild weekend of action for UC. The only team the hosts lost to was Tualatin Hills’ Mound Time, the eventual state champions.
Union lost 13-1 on Friday and 13-0 Sunday in the play-in game for the title game.
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But despite those two losses, Wisdom was pleased with how the team played during the weekend.
“They did excellent. They finished No. 3 in the tournament.
“The other two teams that placed here were special travel teams,” Wisdom said of champion Mound Time and runner-up Central Oregon.
“They’re not your regular Babe Ruth teams. They play year-round.
“But we did great. Beat everybody else and played great.”
Mound Time and Central Oregon don’t play in a district and automatically qualify for the state tournament, according to Wisdom.
Mound Time 13, Union 1
Union County’s road to third place had a little bit of everything, starting with Friday’s opener against Mound Time.
The team from Tualatin Hills jumped right the board with three runs in the first and three more in the second.
Union was finally able to get something going in the fourth inning when Goss scored on a wild pitch.
But a seven-run burst by Mound Time in the bottom of the fourth inning stretched lead to 13-1 and Union County dropped its first game of the tournament.
Mound Time out-hit UC 9-4.
Goss had a double to go along with two hits.
Huntley Sims led MT with three hits and three RBIs, while Gabe Skoro was two for three.
Union 11, Baker 10
A rematch of the District 3 title game didn’t lack for drama.
A back-and-forth game came down to the final inning once again between the rivals on Friday night.
With Baker leading 10-7 heading into the top of the seventh inning, Vaughn got things started with a leadoff walk.
After a one-out single by Siltanen, Wisdom hit an RBI single to cut the lead to 10-8.
That led to a two-run triple by Gonzalez, who then came home to score on a wild pitch to put UC on top, 11-10.
Baker got the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the eighth but failed to bring it home to end the game.
Ryan Adams, Wisdom and Gonzalez all had two hits for UC.
Vaughn picked up the win in relief, striking out one.
Brad Bell started the game and pitched six innings, striking out four and allowing nine hits.
Union 11, Snake River 0
Union County had its easiest game of the weekend against Elks-Snake River Valley on Saturday morning.
After a scoreless first inning, UC put up two in the second and seven in the third before ending things with two runs in the fifth inning.
Gonzalez, Workinger, Goss and Chamberlain all scored twice in the victory.
Union 9, The Dalles 3
In a preview of the third-place game, Union County was able to ride a solid outing by Gonzalez to pick up its third win of the
Gonzalez pitched a complete game, striking out three and allowing 10 hits.
UC put up two runs in the first inning, one in the second, then three in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Chamberlain had a pair of RBIs, while UC as a team finished with 11 hits.
Mound Time 13, Union 0
In Sunday’s morning game, a spot in the state title game was on the line between second-seeded Mound Time and the third-seeded Union County team.
But Mound Time proved to be too much once again.
After putting up three runs over the course of the first two innings, MT erupted for eight runs in the third before adding two in the fifth.
Nick Zanotti was four for four, while Jayden Hanna was three for four. Michael Fanning got the win, striking out two in three innings.