All-stars reach finale at Main City Park
Cal Ripken Baseball
9U state tourney pool play
The Gresham-Barlow all-stars put on a show at Main City Park over the weekend before coming up one win short of the ages 9U Cal Ripken Northern Oregon baseball state title.
The squad capped a perfect run through round-robin play with a 12-2 win over Newberg on Friday night. Gresham-Barlow was clinging to a 3-2 lead late in the game before breaking it open with a nine-run burst in the fifth inning.
Lucas Rounds got it started with an RBI-triple that bounced all the way to the center-field fence, while Evan Newsom followed with an RBI-double to the same part of the park. Teammates Peter Nuncio, Gavin Jusino and Servando Lopez came up with consecutive run-producing singles to stretch the lead to 8-2.
After a pitching change, Memphis Hughes connected for an RBI-single, and Rounds was next up knocking another triple to left field that cleared the bases and put the mercy rule into play.
Rounds finished the game 4-for-4 at the plate.
He delivered an RBI-single to center field to put the first run of the game on the scoreboard.
Newberg tied the score in the bottom of the first, and no one else would visit home plate until the fourth inning.
Gresham-Barlow retired nine straight batters in the early inning with starter Rounds striking out three in a row during one stretch. Lopez, playing at shortstop, accounted for four of the team's first eight outs.
Gresham-Barlow regained the lead in the fourth when Hughes drew a lead-off walk, and Rounds followed with a single. Hughes would come around to score on a bases-loaded walk, and Rounds touched in on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.
Newberg's Nate Coburn caught a pop-up near first base to kill the rally with the bases loaded.
Newberg got one run back in the bottom of the fourth and tried to tie the game when Coburn dashed for home on a toss back to the pitcher. An alert Rounds quickly sent the ball back, giving Gabriel Diaz plenty of time to tag out the runner and protect the lead.
Gresham-Barlow went unbeaten in pool play, outscoring its four foes by a combined score of 63-19. The team picked up a 12-2 mercy-rule win over Sandy in Saturday's semifinals.
South Salem put up seven runs in the first inning and went on to win Sunday's championship matchup 16-0.
Gresham brought the first-inning rally to a close when Hughes gloved a waist-high hopper on the right side that left the bases loaded. Playing at catcher, Rounds came up with a big defensive play in the second inning when he fired down the third-base line and teammate Messer applied the tag to pick off South Salem's lead runner.
Gresham's 10U squad took its three-team pool with wins over Lower Columbia and Lakeridge, followed by a quarterfinal win over Lincoln on Saturday. The team saw its road come to an end in the semifinals with a loss to South Salem.
View photos at ...
and from Sunday's title game...
This story is slated for our Tuesday, July 16, print edition.
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