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The local Little Leaguers from Jefferson County gave it their all in Prineville and took third at the state tournament.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Jonathan Rosales throws a pitch during Jefferson County Little League's 10-9 win over La Grande during the Junior Baseball League state tournament, held at Davidson Field in Prineville over July 23-26.

The Jefferson County Little League All-Stars took third place at the Junior League Baseball state tournament.

The double-elimination tournament was played at historic Davidson Field in Prineville over July 23-26. Jefferson County won its first game of the tournament but faltered in its next two contests, ultimately taking third place out of six teams.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Jared Penaloza threw 96 pitches for the JCLL All-Stars during the team's 10-9 win over La Grande at the Junior League Baseball state tournament in Prineville on Saturday, July 23.Jefferson County took down La Grande in the Day 1 nightcap, beating the Tigers 10-9 in a comeback victory that guaranteed a top-three finish for JCLL. La Grande jumped out to an early lead, but a six-run inning in the fourth tied the game up at 7-7. Then, Jared Penaloza and Caleb Shank recorded hits to drive in three runs, which gave JCLL its first advantage of the game. Penaloza started the game on the mound and also finished it out after a break, throwing 96 pitches in total. In between Penaloza's pitching appearances, Shank and Jonathan Rosales toed the rubber for Jefferson County and allowed three combined runs.

In its second game on Sunday, July 24, Jefferson County fell 13-3 to Del Norte Little League, which competes in Oregon despite being based 20 miles south of the border in Crescent City, California. Rosales scored aa team-leading two runs for Jefferson County, and he also pitched in relief of starting pitcher Danny Jackson. Pablo Solis took the majority of the mound work, though, throwing 94 pitches to finish out the game.

Del Norte advanced to the championship round, riding a plus-50 run differential to a perfect 3-0 record through two days. As for Jefferson County, the loss shunted them into the consolation final on Monday, July 25, in a rematch against La Grande.

In that game, Jefferson County fell 7-5 to La Grande, eliminating the JCLL team from the tournament while La Grande moved on to face Del Norte in the championship. It was a strong showing for the Jefferson County boys, many of whom will be moving on to play at Madras High School next year.

In Game 1 of the championship round Monday evening, La Grande pulled out a 10-0 win over Del Norte and forced a winner-take-all final on Tuesday, July 26. In Game 2, Del Norte bounced back to defeat La Grande 15-3, securing the championship and advancing to the regional tournament in Bend next month.

The Jefferson County Little League Junior Baseball All-Stars roster includes Jeremy Cabral, Skyler Cooper, Jake Gassner, Preston Gillespie, Dominic Hessel, Danny Jackson, Jared Penaloza, Gavin Pollock, Jonathan Rosales, Cesar Saldana Jr., Caleb Shank, Pablo Solis and Bentley Stockton. They were coached by Doug Jackson, Jacob Shank and Brett Gillespie.


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