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Sandy rallies to win Ripken state title

CAL RIPKEN - 9U squad bounces back to beat West Linn in trophy game
by: David Ball Sandy’s Sam Fox makes a throw on the infield during Friday’s opening game.

Sandy's 9U all-stars put up an early fight before losing 10-4 against West Linn A to open the 9U Cal Ripken state tournament Friday night at Kelso Elementary School.

Sandy gained its only lead of the game 3-2 in the first inning when Quinnton Reilly sent a ball down the right-field line for an inside-the-park home run. Chandler Kerr and Chet Chamberlain drew walks to start the inning and also scored on the play.

West Linn regained the lead for good with a four-run spurt in the second inning.

Sandy came back from its opening setback to win its final four games.

The team earned the No. 1 seed in bracket play based on a 'runs against' formula that rewarded solid defense during the tournament.

The Pioneers survived a scare in the semifinals, coming back from a 6-3 deficit to Dallas to tie the game in the sixth inning. Chandler Kerr's triple brought in the tying run.

Sandy shut down Dallas in the extra inning and won the game in the bottom of the seventh when Kaleb Hubbard bounced a ball to the fence for an RBI-triple.

'Coming back in that game got the kids all fired up, and they carried all that emotion with them into the championship game,' Sandy coach Brad Pessell said.

Sandy got a rematch with West Linn A in the title game, but this time the Pioneers could not be stopped. They piled up a bunch of early runs and cruised to a 26-13 win after leading by as many as 19 runs late in the game.

The Pioneers advance to the 9U Regional bracket in Meridian, Idaho, July 21-24.

Look for extended coverage in the July 13 edition of The Sandy Post