West Linn wins four straight to reach Firecracker Classic title contest
While West Linn's 1-0 win over Camas, Wash., on Sunday was the icing on the cake of the Lions' championship in the Firecracker Classic tournament, the cake itself was pretty good, too.
West Linn won five straight times to claim the tournament title at Lakeridge High School, opening with a 16-7 victory over Skyview, Wash., on June 29, beating Lower Columbia 6-2 on Friday, dumping Aloha 6-1 on Saturday, then edging past Sunset 3-1 in the tournament semifinals earlier on Sunday.
"I think really working as a team and getting the job done hitting-wise has really been picking us up here, and we haven't made a lot of errors," said third baseman Zach Bell, who went 2 for 3 and drove in two runs against Aloha.
"I think it's been pitching," added first baseman Joey Campbell, who went 2 for 3, scored twice and knocked in three runs vs. Aloha. "Our pitchers have just been getting it done, throwing strikes, hitting spots, getting the off-speed stuff over — it's tough for hitters to compete against that."
West Linn 16, Skyview 7
In its opener, West Linn pounded out 16 hits and scored 16 runs — 13 of them earned and eight in the third inning — to race past Skyview. Garrett Marioni led the Lions' hitting attack with a 3 for 5 day at the plate with two RBIs and three runs scored, but he had plenty of help.
Griffin Banta, Jonathon Kelly, Justin Hoover, Hart Hancock and Alan Scott had two hits each in the win, with Caleb Franzen, Matt Kurtin, Bell and Gabe Johnson driving in two each.
Marioni picked up the win, throwing 3 2/3 innings and allowing six runs on one hit and seven walks while striking out seven.
West Linn 6, Lower Columbia 2
The Lions' bats were back in gear on Friday, this time racking up 11 hits to pace their 6-2 victory over Lower Columbia. James Marshall set the pace there, going 3 for 4 at the plate with a double, one run scored and one RBI.
Marioni did his part, too, going 2 for 4 with a double of his own, two runs scored and an RBI. Pitchers Zach Anderson and Bell scattered nine hits and teamed to strike out seven in the win.
West Linn 6, Aloha 1
The Lions made it three in a row on Saturday, grabbing a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and riding the two-hit pitching of starter Kelly and Johnson to victory.
Kelly threw four innings and allowed no runs on two hits and three walks while striking out four. Johnson finished up, allowing one run on no hits and three walks while striking out four.
Offensively, Campbell hit a three-run, first-inning double and later scored on Bell's double. Banta also went 2 for 3 in the win.
West Linn 3, Sunset 1
The Lions then ensured their place in the tournament championship by beating Sunset 3-1 on Sunday, breaking a 1-1 tie with runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to win.
Marshall and Hancock both went 1 for 3 and scored once, while Banta was 1 for 4 and scored once. Marioni added two hits in the win while Kelly doubled in a run.
Campbell threw a complete game to get the win, allowing one run on just four hits and no walks while striking out eight.