The West Linn 12U all-stars needed just one day to get it done.
Playing in the Newberg All-Star Bash in mid-June — with the tournament squeezed into a single day after rain washed out Saturday play — West Linn stepped up.
The 12U stars went 3-0-1 at Newberg, securing their tournament victory with an 8-2 victory over the Salem SWAT team.
In the championship, West Linn trailed 1-0 early on in what started appeared to be another low-scoring affair. Aidan Duea got the offense rolling in the third inning with a big home run that gave the Lions a 2-1 lead. Dylan Nance smashed the very next pitch deep and over the left field fence and the Lions never looked back.
In the fifth inning, West Linn tacked on some insurance when Harris Nichols hit another homer. Then, with two outs, Cooper Knighten kept the inning alive when he laced a double to left field and Jackson Curdy capped the slugfest with a long homer that landed in the trees in right-center field.
Strong pitching and defense, combined with those four home runs, gave the Lions the championship 8-2.
In its semifinal against Portland Cal Ripken, West Linn's hit parade continued. Jacob Ogden led the charge with a double and a triple and three runs driven in. Will Sand was also locked in with two doubles and two RBIs of his own.
Drew Ness added a home run that bounced off the scoreboard, and Jack Fillion followed suit with a towering homer that easily cleared the center field fence. Finally, Duea hit his first homer of the day, his bomb landing in a backyard across the street.
Meanwhile, Jake Hemsley was absolutely lethal on the mound, throwing a no-hitter with six strikeouts.
In the second game, West Linn squared off against Castle Rock and the Lions saw nine players combine for 10 hits and 13 runs. Solid pitching and defense helped propel the Lions to a 13-2 victory.
West Linn faced the Salem SWAT in its opener in what turned out to be a pitching duel. Will Hemsley and Max Allen were solid on the mound, each throwing three innings with six strikeouts apiece. The Lions loaded the bases in the bottom of the last inning, but couldn't push across a run and the game ended in a 0-0 tie due to time limit.