The Beaverton team bounces back from an early loss to reach the semifinals at the AAU World Series
VACAVILLE, Calif. - It started badly, but might end up very well indeed for the Beaverton Ringor team at the AAU Baseball 19-U World Series.
Ringor lost its Series opener on Monday, but rallied to win later Monday afternoon and again on Tuesday - both those wins coming in convincing fashion - to reach the tournament semifinals held yesterday (Wednesday) after the Valley Times' press deadline.
'The kids feel like we have a legitimate shot of winning it,' said Ringor coach Len Clarke, in his final summer season after 43 years of coaching Little League and Babe Ruth teams. 'That would be a nice way to cap it.'
It won't be easy, though.
Ringor needed to win twice yesterday at Davis' Playfield Park to advance to Thursday's winner-take-all championship contest.
Orange County 4, Ringor 0
Ringor opened its World Series with a resounding thud in the superheated atmosphere at Travis Credit Union Park, dropping a 4-0 decision in its Monday opener to the Orange County Indians, a game that started with on-field temperatures measured at 108 degrees.
'The heat was just overwhelming and we didn't adjust to it very well,' Clarke said. 'And we just didn't produce offensively in game one.'
Ringor did get a six-hitter from pitchers Trey Watt and Kyle Hefley, but Orange County answered with a one-hitter by San Jose State hurler Sam Childress and scored three runs in the first inning to grab control of the ballgame.
Ringor 15, Dixon 5
Monday's second game brought greater temperatures - 112 degrees at game time - but also greater success for Ringor.
Ringor broke the game open with a 12-run third inning highlighted by Southridge High graduate Jordan Post's heroics at the plate. In that watershed third, Post ripped a grand slam and added an RBI single en route to a 3-for-3, 6-RBI performance.
'By then we were ready for the heat,' Clarke said. 'We had towels around our necks and that helped a little bit, but it was just like there was no air to breathe.'
Also for Ringor, Eric Renander went 3-for-3 and scored three times, Zach Mandelblatt was 2-for-2 and scored twice, and both Tony Stutevoss and Brandon Sales went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Pitcher Ryan Koffel allowed six hits and five runs, but only two of those hits and one of those runs after a shaky first.
Ringor 10, Sonoma County 2
Ringor rolled again on Tuesday, getting a three-hitter from pitchers Jack Brallier and John Anderson in their team's 10-2 victory over the Sonoma County Vikings.
Brallier 'did a nice job. He probably had his best outing for us today,' Clarke said.
Mandelblatt had another big day with the bat, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Evan Dunn and Chris Oki both went 2-for-3, Dunn collecting three RBIs in the win.
'Everyone's talking about us now,' Clarke said of his team's back-to-back victories. 'We're kind of the Bad News Bears from Oregon down here.'