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Nationals survive late scare in semis

LITTLE LEAGUE - Gresham beats Reynolds 2-1 to land spot in championship round
by: David Ball Gresham pitcher Austin Carpenter fires a throw during the Nationals’ 2-1 win Friday.

The Gresham National all-stars punched a ticket to the championship round of the District 2 Little League tournament Friday night with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Reynolds.

Gresham jumped to a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Seth Dawson led off with a double to right field and game around to score when Hunter Hemenway beat out an infield single. The play ended up with the umpires gathering in the center of the field for a brief discussion before giving the official safe signal.

That would prove to be Gresham's final hit of the game, but it was enough as the Nationals rode the arm of Austin Carpenter to victory.

He had little trouble in the early innings retiring the side in order four straight times before the Raiders put on a threat in the sixth.

Nick McCoy scored the team's only run on a groundout by Caden Gordy, which moved the tying run into scoring position. But the Nationals escaped with the victory by cleanly fielding a pair of ground balls for the final two outs.

Gresham advances to the title round at 2 p.m. Sunday, while Reynolds will face Clackamas in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday. Clackamas knocked out Centennial in Friday's afternoon game. The Boring-Damascus Little League is hosting the tournament.

Look for extended coverage in the July 16 edition of The Outlook.