A youth baseball team known as the Sandy Pack may have raised the temperature a few extra degrees on the diamond this past week as their bats caught fire during a dominant run through a regional tournament bracket that ended with a gleaming trophy.
The Sandy U15 Babe Ruth Baseball Team, representing the North Oregon region, dominated the competition during at the 2022 Pacific Northwest Regionals that ran Monday, July 25, through Saturday, July 30, in Kelso, Washington, winning every single match handily with sure hitting, stout defense and blistering pitching.
The members of the championship Sandy Pack were Johnathin Silvis, Brayden Sievertsen, Hunter Dunham, Cole Younger, Max Green, Matthew Kosderka, Cooper Hibbs, Ashton Culp, Nathan Reel, Brodie Sieversten, Kobe Sparks and Fisher Winchester. They are coached by Ryan Sparks, Austin Carson and Isaac Hibbs, and managed by Mike Kosderka.
It was scorched earth during the group play, as the Sandy Pack cruised to a 4-0 finish with a 64-run differential. They hit home 66 runners, and only gave up a pair of runs in those opening games.
The team won 19-1 over the South Washington Invite squad, 16-1 over the South Washington team, 17-0 against North Washington — who they would meet again in the finals — and 14-0 to best Montana.
With their performance, the Sandy Pack qualified for a final four tournament of the best teams through group play, featuring fellow undefeated No. 1 seed from Alberta, as well as teams from North Washington and Kelso. In the first game, held Saturday morning, July 30, Sandy Pack won 10-0 against Kelso, while on the other side of the bracket Alberta was upset 7-5 by North Washington.
Then, in the finals, they capped the perfect run through regionals with a 8-1 victory over the Columbia Basin River Dogs, representing North Washington, hoisting the trophy high in celebration.
Hibbs and Winchester led the way with two hits apiece to lead Sandy in the championship game, while the Pack didn't commit a single error in the field. On the mound, Winchester got the victory by only allowing four hits and one run over seven innings, while striking out nine and walking one.
This is the second season in a row the Sandy Pack has won the PNW tourney. The team is now qualified to make back-to-back appearances at the Babe Ruth World Series, which will begin Aug. 11 in Virginia.
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