Beaverton-area stars lead PBC back into the Series championship
EPHRATA, Wash. - The Portland Baseball Club squad didn't win the championship.
But the Babe Ruth ages 18U team, featuring a quartet of Beaverton-area players, made it all the way to the championship game of the World Series, had a good time and added onto its heady list of accomplishments.
'It was a great summer,' said Tanner Scott, a 2010 Westview High School graduate who will play this coming school year at Centralia College. 'It was a lot of fun and playing for (the team) definitely helped get me ready for college.'
And the Portland Baseball Club team came within one win of a World Series title, its only loss at the Series an 18-0 defeat to defending champion Mobile, Ala., in the Babe Ruth World Series championship game, played Saturday at Johnson-O'Brien Stadium in Ephrata, Wash.
'They came out and every ball they hit found the gaps,' Scott said, 'and every ball we hit seemed to go right to them.'
The Portland Baseball Club squad, which also included 2011 Westview graduates Phil Belding and Tyler Kotchik, and 2011 Aloha graduate Spencer Maxey, went 4-0 in pool play at the World Series to earn a No. 1 seed going into the single-elimination portion of the event.
PBC opened bracket play Friday with a 6-2 win over Ottumwa, Iowa, in a World Series semifinal game. Faced with a win or go home scenario there, PBC stepped up big-time.
Scott helped get PBC rolling in the first inning when he knocked in teammate Spencer Smith on a groundout to make it 1-0. In the second, it was Belding's turn to make things happen, singling with one out and scoring later on a Corey Van Domelen grounder to make it 2-0.
PBC added on two more runs in the bottom of the third inning and one more in the bottom of the fourth to up the margin to 5-0. Maxey opened the third with a single, took second on a passed ball and scored when Scott slammed a double. Then, with two outs, it was Belding again who came through with a single to drive home Scott.
Ottumwa rallied to score twice in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 5-2. But Portland answered back with a run in its half of the frame to up its lead to 6-2. Scott was right in the middle of it all again, singling with one out and scoring later on a Brock Pellow sacrifice fly for his team's final run.
Ottumwa got two runners on base in the top of the seventh, but wasn't able to score, leaving Portland Baseball Club with the 6-2 victory and a trip to the World Series championship game.
Maxey went 2-for-3 at the plate in the semifinal win with a run scored. Scott went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. And Belding finished at 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
In Saturday's World Series championship game, Portland found itself facing a big early deficit as the Mobile Rawdogs scored nine runs in the top of the first inning and nine more in the top of the third frame to take an 18-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Mobile pitcher James Traylor threw a no-hitter for his team, striking out six in the game that was shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
In fact, Smith was the only Portland player to reach base in the championship game, drawing a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth inning.
'We were feeling good (before the championship). Everyone was hitting well and the pitchers were throwing well,' Scott said. 'But it was just one of those days.'
Now, following the World Series, many of the local players are heading off to their respective colleges.
Scott will play baseball at Centralia College in Eugene, Maxey is headed for Dominguez Hills, and Belding for Western Nevada.
'It was a great summer,' Scott said. 'Just seeing how the team grew, how everyone got to know each other better. And we just played better and better all the time.'