WOODBURN - Playing six games in four days, The Redland Rockies proved themselves without questions among the top Midget American Junior Baseball teams in Clackamas County July 15-18.
After dropping their county tournament opener in extra innings, the Rockies bounced back with four straight victories to earn a spot opposite Sellwood in the county championship game.
Sellwood won that game 8-5. But the battle weary Rockies, who had finished as champions in their county league, walked away with their heads held high.
The road to the county final was not an easy one.
The Rockies couldn't get the timely hit, and they played two extra innings, but lost to Tualatin (Noland) in their July 15 county opener.
Playing later that day, they defeated Lakeridge 10-7 in their losers' bracket opener of the double elimination tournament.
They handled another Tualatin team (coach Jackson), winning 14-4, in the early afternoon of July 16. Later that afternoon they had a loser's out rematch with Tualatin (Noland) and avenged the extra-inning loss, 11-8.
All July 17 games were rained out, which set the stage for a possible doubleheader on July 18.
The Rockies edged North Marion 5-4 in a must-win game on July 17. They then came up a little short, losing to winner's bracket finalist Sellwood 8-5. Had they won that game they would have had to beat Sellwood a second time on July 19 in order to earn first place.
The Rockies now head for the Midget American state championship tournament, scheduled for Pacific University July 28-31.
Vying for the standout Redland team were: fourth graders Lane Marshall, Kelson Hennessy, Hunter Manassero, Dustin Asher, Grant Ross, Colby Iverson, Tim Nguyen, Robbie Hamilton and Joseph Jannsen; third graders Matt Peterson, Spencer Townsend and Jared LaPointe; and second grader Keliikoa Falepapalangi.
Marshall, Asher, Nguyen, Peterson, Townsend, LaPointe and Falepapalangi attend Redland Elementary; Hennessy, Ross, Hamilton and Jannsen attend Holcomb; Manassero is a student at Mt. Pleasant; and Iverson attends Beavercreek.
Redland coaches were Jim Marshall, Dan Manassero, Wade Hamilton, Dean Hennessy and Greg Ross.