Beaverton-area stars pace PBC at Series
The team goes 4-0 in pool play, awaits its semifinal matchup in Series on Friday
EPHRATA, Wash. - So far, there's no one and no team that has been able to stop the Portland Baseball Club at the Senior Babe Ruth World Series.
And the team's four Beaverton-area players - Westview High School grads Tanner Scott, Phil Belding and Tyler Kotchik, and Aloha grad Spencer Maxey - have played big roles in PBC's success.
PBC has won four straight games in pool-play competition at the Series - being held at Johnson-O'Brien Stadium in Ephrata, Wash. - locked up first place in the National Division on Tuesday, and will play in the tournament semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday.
PBC, the Northwest champion, opened pool play with a 4-3 win in eight innings over Noblesville, Ind. - the Ohio Valley winner - on Saturday, then made it two in a row by beating Cape Cod of Truro, Mass. - the New England champ - by 4-0 on Sunday.
PBC made it three straight with an 18-1 rout of Eagle Pass, Texas - the Southwest winner - on Monday, and capped its pool play run with a 9-2 victory over the Puget Sound Roxx - the North Washington state champs - on Tuesday.
'We came in expecting to do well, but I don't know if we expected to do this well,' said Belding, an outfielder/pitcher who's batting .333 in the Series with three runs scored and four runs batted in.
'I felt pretty confident with our team,' added Maxey, a shortstop who's hitting .500 and has scored six runs and also knocked in six. 'We've bonded pretty well and that's a big deal for these traveling teams to get to know each other.'
Along with those two players' contributions, PBC has also gotten great mileage from Scott, a third baseman who recently completed his freshman season at Campbellsville University in Kentucky and who will play next year at Centralia College in Washington. Scott, batting third most games for PBC, has hit .533 (8-for-15) thus far in the Series, scored six times and leads the team in RBIs with 10.
'I've been feeling pretty good,' Scott admitted. 'I've just been trying to keep (my swing) short and put it in play.'
Highlights from Scott's Series thus far are: in game two against Cape Cod, Scott hammered a seventh-inning grand slam; in game three against Eagle Pass, Scott went 4-for-4, drove in three runs and scored four times; and in game four against Puget Sound, Scott went 2-for-4 and hit a three-run homer in the first inning.
Maxey, who will play next year at Cal State Dominguez Hills, also leads PBC in steals at the Series with four, and has committed just one error at shortstop.
'I actually thought I'd be playing second base this summer because that's where I'll play in college,' Maxey said. 'But the coaches moved me over and kept me there as a team leader.'
Belding, who's headed to Western Nevada College for baseball in the fall, has two doubles and two stolen bases in the Series thus far, his best game coming in the 18-1 blowout against Eagle Pass.
'I've hit the ball well so far,' Belding said. 'And it's really cool because it's preparing us for college ball too.'
Kotchik, thus far, has thrown one inning of scoreless relief in the win over Eagle Pass.
But before they get to the new school year and their various college teams, there's one more goal this quartet of Metro League grads would like to achieve.
'We want to play (Mobile, Alabama) again,' Maxey said. 'They're the ones who beat us last year in the Series championship. They're our main competition.'
'It's been awesome, a great experience,' Scott said. 'I hope (we win it all), but we have to win on Friday first.'
'We all thought we were capable of winning it all here,' Belding said. 'But we knew we needed to come out and show our best every game.'
So far, so good.