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Redland Rockies hit 5th in state

Oregon City-area team, Clackamas, finish strong
by: submitted photo The Redland Rockies celebrate their defeat of South Eugene by 13-8 in the Junior Baseball state tournament. Pictured from left to right (front row) Robbie Hamilton, Lane Marshall and Kelsen Hennessy; (second row) Grant Ross and Hunter Manassaro; and (back row) Tim Nguyen, Colby Iverson, Matt Peterson, Spencer Townsend, Keliikoa Falepapalangi, Dustin Asher and Joseph Jannsen.

FOREST GROVE-The Redland Rockies tied for fifth in the state by winning two big games in the Midget American Division Junior Baseball state tournament at Pacific University July 28-31.

A tough opening loss to Battleground signaled that the team wasn't ready to jump right back into the swing of things just two weeks after the county tournament

But the Rockies came back roaring against Sherwood 13-3, reaching the 10-run maximum and giving Sherwood some of the same medicine the Rockies had just received from Battleground.

Their roll continued with a 13-8 defeat of South Eugene.

The winning streak started to look a lot like the Rockies run to second place in the county last month. 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.

But another back-and-forth battle characterized the Rockies repeat defeat to Sellwood 7-6, where fourth graders Lane Marshall and Kelsen Hennessy pitched.

Every batter in that last inning put that ball into play, and that was something that stood out for all of the team members, because that was something that's never happened before. No one in the whole Rockies order struck out.

In the bottom of the fifth when the Rockies were only down two, Grant Ross hit a double to bat in a run, and then he stole third. A follow-up grounder almost made it through, which would have forced extra innings.

Attending Redland Elementary are fourth graders Lane Marshall, Dustin Asher, Tim Nguyen, as well as third graders Matt Peterson, Spencer Townsend and Jared LaPointe, and second grader Keliikoa Falepapalangi; fourth graders Kelson Hennessy, Grant Ross, Robbie Hamilton and Joseph Jannsen attend Holcomb; fourth grader Hunter Manassero is a student at Mt. Pleasant; and fourth grader Colby Iverson attends Beavercreek.

Redland coaches were Jim Marshall, Dan Manassero, Wade Hamilton, Dean Hennessy and Greg Ross.

'After that last game, everyone was really happy, because we all knew we had given our best,' Ross said. 'Whether they're all on the same team or not next year, they're all looking forward to coming back and winning the tournament.'

Clackamas strong

The Clackamas Cavaliers Senior Federal baseball team, which was third in the county, ended up losing its play-in to become ninth in the state.

They fell short in the July 25 game against Beaverton 6-1, but earned the honor of playing a top team in the state tournament by winning a gripping match against another top contender.

The Clackamas 13 and 14 year olds beat Sellwood 13-10, by scoring eight runs in the first inning, then five runs in the second inning.

Luke Burns led the team by batting .424 for the season, followed by Nathan Mumford at .404 and

Anthony Garcia at .306. Nick Krska and Zach Stouder, in addition to Burns and Garcia, are the top pitchers for the teams.

'The future of Clackamas High School baseball is in really good shape,' said Ken Burns, who will be retiring after this year as coach.