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Banks baseball team wins JBO state title

Earlier this month, Banks' Midget American all-star baseball team captured the town's first-ever JBO state title.

Earlier this month, Banks' Midget American all-star baseball team captured the town's first-ever JBO state title.

Banks compiled a 15-1 record in league play and a 28-5 overall record during the regular season, earning a trip to the JBO state tournament in Forest Grove, where the team avenged two of its early season losses and stormed to a state championship.

'We spent the season preaching 'Win the inning.' We kept track every game of innings won and not the score,' said Banks head coach Justin Engeseth. 'State play was no different. (At the) end of the season we came around and I couldn't be more fortunate to have coached these boys.'

Banks opened tournament play with a resounding 15-4 victory over South Salem, a team that had beaten them earlier in the season. Hayden Vandehey and Dakota Bunn scored three runs apiece.

The next day, Banks topped Sellwood 7-5 behind four scoreless innings from Trask Applegate, who finished the game with eight strikeouts.

That set up another rematch, this time against West Albany, a team that beat Banks at the Westview tournament earlier in the summer. The second time around it was all Banks, as the Braves rolled to a 13-1 victory.

Banks scored five runs in the second inning and five more in the third to take control of the game. Bunn, Cole Johnson and Jarred Evans combined to pitch the whole game, giving up just four hits and one walk. Johnson also went 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs.

In the championship game against Sellwood, Banks took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, getting a two-run home run from Blake Gobel. Sellwood rallied with four runs in the fourth, trimming the deficit to 7-6 with three straight singles off Banks pitcher Jarred Evans.

Evans pitched out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts, then jump-started the Banks offense in the top of the fifth inning with a leadoff single. He would come around to score on Bunn's RBI single to left-center, giving Banks an 8-6 lead that would hold up the rest of the way.

For the tournament, Applegate pitched nine innings, allowing just five hits and three runs while striking out 19 batters. Bret Cameron had a fantastic tournament at the plate, going 6-for-7 during Banks' four games.