The West Linn 14U Babe Ruth team got off to quite the start in the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in Calgary, Canada. West Linn opened up pool play with a 19-0 victory over Calgary Monday afternoon behind hot bats and sure-handed defense, winning by mercy rule in just five innings.
The West Linn 14U Babe Ruth all-star team had already conquered Oregon, taking care of that at the North Oregon state tournament, held Friday and Saturday (July 22-23) at West Linn High School.
But West Linn has its sights set even higher with the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament.
West Linn's squad includes C.J. Jones, Colin Driscoll, Blake DeBisschop, Gavin Turner, Adam Simshauser, Caden Parker, Parker Stevenson, Gavin Haines, Ryan Talavs, Mitchell Duea, Kyle Sullivan, Zac Hoover, Clay Masters and coaches Ray Pearson, Tim Driscoll and Rob Hoover.
In their tournament opening win on Monday the Lions were consistent on the offensive side of the plate, jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning. West Linn tacked on three more runs in the second inning, exploded for five runs in the third and five more in the fourth inning, and closed things out with three runs in the fifth.
The Lions accumulated seven hits in the first four innings, relying on patience at the plate and heady base running while capitalizing on Calgary mistakes. Simshauser went 1 for 1 with a single, two walks and three runs scored, while Duea added a double and two runs scored of his own to pace the Lions.
"We did what we needed to do today, put the ball in play and made them make some plays," said head coach Rob Hoover. "Hopefully we keep swinging it."
West Linn also played two more pool play games Tuesday and Wednesday, after the Tidings went to press, ahead of semifinals that started Thursday, July 27.
The tournament semifinals are set for 4:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, and the regional championship scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, July 28.
The regional winner will then advance to the 14U World Series in Glen Allen, Va., fro Aug. 10-17.