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Gresham National moves on to state semifinal game

LITTLE LEAGUE - Gresham trounces Pendleton 12-2 in five innings to stay in winner's bracket
by: David Ball Gresham's Ole Arnston runs down the first-base line after making contact.

The Gresham National all-stars rolled to their second straight victory at the 12U state Little League tournament Tuesday by blowing past Pendleton 12-2.

Gresham broke the game open in the third inning with back-to-back homers by Austen Carpenter and Greg Mehlhaff, marking the third time this summer that the power-hitting duo has accomplished that feat.

The Nationals closed out the victory on the 10-run mercy rule in the fifth inning when Jeramy Ross sent a two-run shot over the center-field fence.

Ross also started on the mound, piling up seven strikeouts through 4 2/3 innings before Mehlhaff came on to get the last batter.

'We've come out and beaten some good teams down here,' Ross said. 'It's been fun to see the kids just come alive.'

Gresham advances to the semifinals where they will face host Bend South at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that game earns a spot in Saturday's championship round. Three teams have been eliminated from the tournament.

The National team opened the tournament with a 6-1 win over Ashland on Saturday, taking a shutout into the fifth inning. Ashland's only run came on an intentional walk with the bases loaded.

While still holding practice on their off days, the team also took advantage of the down time for trips to the hotel swimming pool, a day at a local fun center and a stop at a nearby theater to watch Captain America.

Look for extended Little League coverage in the July 27, edition of The Outlook.