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BALL Juniors enjoy their run in Western Regional

The host team makes the most of its time in the spotlight at regionals
by: MILES VANCE, GOT ‘EM — Beaverton second baseman Reid Johnson throws to teammate Jon Jon Moore during the third inning of his team’s Tuesday game in the Western Regionals.

BEAVERTON - The Beaverton Area Little League Junior baseball team knew it would have its hands full at the Western Regionals and it was right.

But despite struggling through a winless appearance as host team in the 2006 Western Regional Little League Baseball tournament, held Aug. 1-10 at Tualatin Hills, the BALL team played hard, hung in there with all its might and enjoyed its shot against the top teams on the West Coast.

'It was a good experience, said pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Scott Loggins. 'We can take this and remember it for the rest of our lives.'

'We were just happy to go out there and do our best and see where it got us,' said third baseman Scott Renslow. 'Having good competition makes you better and we didn't get that in league. This will help us a lot.'

BALL, which won its berth as host team by taking the District 4 tournament, opened the Western Regional with a 15-1 defeat at the hands of Oregon state champion Jefferson last Wednesday, but came back in game two with its best effort of the tournament, pushing Arizona to the limit before finally falling 8-5 on Friday.

'We just wanted to win one game. That was our goal,' Loggins said.

And the Beaverton team, sponsored by Buddies Sports Bar and Grill, very well might have gotten that one win if not for the occasional defensive discrepancies that plagued it during the tournament.

'The teams that are here are a lot more disciplined than we were and they make a lot fewer errors than we did,' said BALL center fielder/pitcher David Rasmussen. 'We beat ourselveves sometimes, but it was still enjoyable.'

That attitude, perhaps, more than anything, characterized the Beaverton team's appearance in the regional tournament, and appropriately so. BALL won its District 4 title and berth into the regional by beating the only two other local teams that play Little League Junior baseball, and while the team has been playing together since March, its opposition at regionals are all all-star teams drawing talent from much larger areas.

'Just making it here was a big deal,' Renslow said. 'From the start of the season, this was where we wanted to go and we made it.'

'It's been a lot of fun,' Rasmussen added. 'Just making it here and hitting the ball today (against Southern California) has been the highlight of my day.'

Beaverton's other tournament games included an 11-4 loss to Northern California on Saturday, a 10-0 loss to Montana on Sunday, and finally, a 19-0 defeat at the hands of Southern California on Tuesday.

Other team members include manager Don Loggins, coaches Frank Renslow and Mark Rasmussen, and players Jake Buchanan, Tyler Yarnell, Dylan Helphingstine, Josh Midwin, Reid Johnson, Jon Jon Moore, Skyler Steel, Austin Marple and Taylor Roshak.

To see a complete photo gallery from this game, go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com, click on the 'Baseball' link, then on the 'BALL Juniors 8-8-06' link.