‘Dogs open series with trio of victories
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – One pitcher got off to a rough start but still won. The other two started strong and stayed that way.
The Columbia Basin River Dogs overcame a rough start for pitcher Hunter Boyd to beat Fairfax, Va., 4-2, in game one of the Senior Babe Ruth World Series on Sunday. But Monday saw Cameron Walker no-hit Williamsport, Penn., for four innings on in an 8-3 win in game two, and Logan Moss worked five strong innings Tuesday in a 9-0 victory over Coos Bay, Ore.
The week-long event is being played at Kiger Stadium in southern Oregon.
The River Dogs close pool play Wednesday against Team Cape Cod, Mass., the New England champions. The trophy round begins Thursday with the quarterfinals, with semifinals on Friday and the championship game on Saturday.
Boyd, a graduate of Moses Lake High, came into the tournament with a 7-3 record, a 1.73 ERA and 47 strikeouts in the 11 appearances this summer. But Fairfax got after the former Chief quickly – the first four hitters all hit singles to give the Virginia club a 2-0 lead.
That brought River Dog manager Randy Boruff out of the dugout for a conference with Boyd, which seemed to have the desired effect. Hunter allowed Fairfax just five more hits over the remainder of the contest, and just three baserunners to reach third.
“I went to the mound and told Hunter that the Virginia kids were all jacked up and too excited. They peaked too fast in this ballgame,” said Boruff. “You don’t win a ballgame in one inning.
“Hunter got stronger as the game progressed. I had Kaeden (Murphy of Quincy) warming up, but Hunter wanted the baseball in the final inning,” he added. “He also had three hits, so it was a good day for Hunter Boyd.”
Fairfax’s quick start was created by three of the Greater Fairfax area’s top high school players – Mathew Blaise of Centerville, Jake D’Ercole of Warwick and Zach Bright of Woodson – and Roanoke College first baseman Joe Larimer. Blaise and D’Ercole added singles in the second inning as Fairfax threatened to add to its lead before Boyd recorded a strikeout to end the frame.
Columbia Basin began its rally in the bottom of the second inning as the Dogs got to Fairfax starting pitcher Kenny Barry (Coker College, South Carolina) for two runs to tie the ballgame. Justin DeHoog (Ephrata) started the inning with a walk and moved to third base on a double from Josh Kallstrom (Ephrata).
After Glenn Gosse (Moscow, Idaho) walked to load the bases, Boyd popped a single to bring in DeHoog, and Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to score Kallstrom and tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the third panel, Tristan Parton (Cascade) got hit by a pitch to start the inning, then moved to second base on a wild pitch – he came around to score on a double by Walker (Naches Valley). The Dogs added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Gosse got to first after being hit by a pitch, reached third base on a Fairfax error and scored on a single by Boyd.
“Virginia was a decent club with some good hitters and a couple of guys with decent arms,” Boruff said. “We didn’t execute a couple of things we tried and got a couple of bad breaks, but we’re happy with the win.”
On Monday, Walker (11 appearances, 9-2, 2.09 ERA, 55 strikeouts) put on a dominating performance, limiting the all-star team from Williamsport to four hits while striking out five and giving up no walks. It was the first pitching job for the Walla Walla College product since the regional semifinals in Canada, where Walker pitched a seven inning no-hitter to beat the host team, the Calgary Blues.
Walker looked like he was heading for his second no-hitter in a row as he kept West End’s bats silent through the first four innings, giving him a streak of 11 hitless frames over two games. That ended in the fifth inning with Justin Lambert, a former all-Pennsylvania state player from Hughesville – he would score West End’s first run.
But all Lambert’s score would do was cut Columbia Basin’s lead to 5-1, built by single runs in the first two innings and three tallies in the fifth frame. The River Dogs would score their final three runs in the sixth inning to put the game on ice.
The Dogs got off to a quick start when Parton doubled to lead off the ballgame, then stole third and scored on a single by Spencer Vela (Moses Lake) in the first inning. Kallstrom made it 2-0 in the second inning when he singled and came home on a fielder’s choice by Parton.
Parton singled to open the fifth inning, followed by Vela getting hit by a pitch – Walker and DeHoog hit back-to-back doubles to bring in three runs. In the sixth frame, a walk, two hit batters and RBI hits from Kallstrom and Timbo Taylor (Brewster) plated the final three runs for Columbia Basin.
“Cameron was lights out, keeping them shut down through the first four innings,” Boruff said. “We had control of the game, but left a lot of guys (14) on base.”
Kallstrom went 3 for 3 at the plate as the Dogs finished with 14 baseraps, while Taylor, Parton and Zac Askin (Moses Lake) added two hits each.
Substitutes became starters for Columbia Basin on Tuesday against the South Coast Lumberjacks, the South Oregon state champions from the Coos Bay-North Bend area. Boruff shook up the lineup to face the beach team, and sent Quincy’s Logan Moss (5-1, 2.88 ERA, 26 strikeouts), to the mound, and Moss had one of his better outings of the season.
The Ephrata Tiger senior-to-be had a little trouble at the start, giving up a hit and a walk, but ended the first inning with a pair of strikeouts. By the time he left the game after the fifth inning (Jerry Reyes of Warden took over in relief), Moss had allowed South Coast just four hits while striking out six – he got solid defense from the infield, led by a five putout game from Quincy’s Kaeden Murphy at third base.
Kallstrom had the big bat for the Dogs, going 2 for 4 at the plate with a double and four RBIs – he drove in two runs in the third inning to give Columbia Basin a 3-0 lead, then brought in the final two River Dog runs of the game in the sixth frame. Zach LaBounty (Warden) added two hits for the River Dogs.
Note: Quincy’s Nick Lopez has played twice as a second base in the world series.
Steven Smith/Grant County Journal