Mt. Hood Select takes marathon game
Firecracker tourney (round-robin game)
|Mt. Hood Select|
|Boise Capitals ... 13 innings|
LAKE OSWEGO — The visitors from Boise were getting antsy as the game went scoreless into the 11th inning. Plans to travel to the Oregon coast were being delayed with every swing and miss.
Something had to happen to end this game.
The Mt. Hood Select OIBA summer squad got the scoring started when Jorge Meza and Dakota Lohmeier connected for back-to-back singles — Meza on a broken-bat blooper into left field. The Boise pitcher bounced a pitch to the plate, which was all that Meza needed to zip over to third base, beating the tag with a face-first dive into the bag.
"Once I got on bases, I was looking for a chance to go for it," Meza said. "It was high risk, high reward and that time it paid off."
A couple throws later, a passed ball to the backstop allowed Meza to flash home for a 1-0 lead.
A fly out to center field stranded Lohmeier at third.
But before the Boise parents could load up their cars with sand chairs, the Capitals answered with John Brookins drawing a walk and moving along to third base when a Mt. Hood throw ended up in the outfield. He tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Leaf
Boise had a chance to make the beach trip a joyous one when Jackson Reed hammered a triple into the right-field corner.
Mt. Hood Select stayed in contention when starter Jaden Wilkins struck out the next batter.
He threw 141 pitches, striking out 14 batters, before being relieved by Tommy Hemmer in the 13th inning.
"It was tiring, but getting the win was on my mind, so I just took it pitch by pitch," Wilkins said. "They got a few hard-hit balls on me, but I just had to refocus and sit batters down."
Cooper Leaf hit a lead-off double for Boise in the 12th, but Wilkins struck out the next two batters and Jayden Vinson made a catch on the run in left field to end the threat.
By this time, the game had surpassed the 2 hour, 15 minute tournament time limit. Umpires and managers gathered on the mound. A decision came quickly.
"How do you not keep going in a game like this," Mt. Hood manager Matt Kramer said. "It didn't even take four seconds and we all agreed 'Let's do this'."
So onto the 13th inning where Meza once again came up big on the bases, sending a double down the left-field line. He stole third in a hurry and found his way home standing up on Lohmeier's sacrfice fly to right field for the 2-1 lead.
Mt. Hood Select retired the side in order in the bottom of the 13th with reliever Hemmer getting a come backer on the side of the mound, Meza gloving a bouncer at shortstop and Cameron Keller catching the final out on a fly ball to right field.
Mt. Hood players rushed excitedly to the dugout to celebrate, while the Boise side could finally make their beach trek with a stop of lunch along the way.
"That was definitely one of the most fun games I've been a part of," Kramer said. "Every play the game was on the line. It gave us situations that you can't recreate and was a good chance to grow."
Mt. Hood loaded the bases with one out in the first inning, but a pair of strikeouts prevented it from putting up any early runs.
The Mt. Hood defense would keep the team in the game, starting in the fourth inning when Leaf sent a lead-off double to right field. Vinson moved to his left and caught a line drive in the left-field gap to freeze the runner at second, and Jermaine Robinson followed with a catch in shallow center field and an on-target throw to the plate that prevented anyone challenging for home.
Wilkins struck out the next batter looking to strand a pair of Capitals in scoring position.
"Defense makes the difference in games like this, and our guys did a good job staying calm and making plays," Kramer said.
Mt. Hood came up with another gem in the sixth inning when Cal Keeley tracked down a ball in right field and threw out the lead runner at third base.
"That could have been the winning run at that point, instead it got us to two outs in the inning," Keeley said. "It allowed us to put up a fight for a few more innings and win the game."
Boise went down in order in each the seventh and eighth innings, capped when Christian Roberts charged a ball on the third-base side and threw across the infield to get the out.
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Select squad wins three of four at Firecracker
The Mt. Hood Select squad finished 3-0 in pool play with a 6-2 win over La Salle Prep in Game 1 of a doubleheader Saturday.
After trading runs in the fourth, the Select squad put on its winning burst when Alex Bates sent a two-run single to center field in the fifth. Mt. Hood tacked on three more in the sixth when Phil Morris singled on an infield ground ball, and Jermaine Robinson sent a two-run double to left field.
Morris went the distance on the mound, striking out five and allowing four hits.
Mt. Hood finished the day with a 6-4 win over Sunset, moving into position for the win after Robinson led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left field. Two batters later, Bates sent a two-run double to right field to win the game before Mt. Hood had registered an out in the inning.
Bates finished 5-for-8 (.625) on the day. Cameron Keller and Bates combined to strike out 10.
Mt. Hood finished the Firecracker tournament with its only loss — 17-3 to Grant on Sunday. The Generals scored in each of the first four innings, building a 14-0 lead after putting up seven runs in the fourth.
Dakota Lohmeier led the Select bats by going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
This story is slated for our Friday, July 5, print edition.
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