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STATE CHAMPS

Scappoose Little League Juniors win state, head to regionals
by: John Brewington TOURNAMENT WINNERS—The Scappoose Juniors Little League team did everything it had to do at the state tournament near Turner at Cascade High School last week. The team topped previously unbeaten Parrish, 7-1, to win the state championship and earn a berth at Western Regionals.

Will Sprute was a determined young man Thursday evening, pitching the Scappoose Little League Juniors to the Oregon State Championship with a 7-1 title game win over Parrish at Cascade High School.

All Sprute did was go the distance on the mound, strike out 15 batters, and limit the home-district team to only four hits, three of them by one player.

Sprute went into the bottom of the seventh with just seven pitches left of the 95 total allowed. He threw hard strikes-getting the first batter out in three with a long fly to center, striking out the next batter in three pitches, and then striking out the third. He only had one pitch left when the last batter came up, but Little League allows the pitcher to finish the last batter.

'I knew I had to throw strikes,' Sprute said of the last inning. 'I finished with zero.'

His performance was all Scappoose needed to clinch the Juniors title and earn a trip to Western Regionals in Irvine, Calif.

'Will Sprute is one of my many phenomenal pitchers,' Scappoose Manager Jeff Hering said. 'He's the guy I go to for my workhorse to sent out and get it done. Even though things go bad he battles back and takes care of business. His 15 Ks were impressive.'

Hering said he and Sprute communicate well and both were well aware of how many pitches he had left.

The manager was very pleased with the win. 'I'm proud of all 11 of my kids. They are great kids, great athletes and all bring something special (to the game). They've done really well. I preached composure to my regular season team and to the all-stars. I tell them that it's not that we make an error but how we react to it.'

Scappoose ran roughshod over their opponents in the state tournament, outscoring them 66-5 in five games. Parrish would give Scappoose their closest game at state.

Scappoose took the early lead in the contest and never trailed, although after five innings it was just a 2-1 game. Scappoose broke it open in the sixth with five runs.

Scappoose was first on board in the game. Justin Hering led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a single by Steven Johnson, and then scored on a bobbled ball off a hit by Wyatt Patton.

The local Juniors added to their lead in the top of the fourth. Lionel Sandoval drilled a ball deep to the right-center fence for a triple, and then scored when Patton hit a ball to first base.

Parrish's Jeffrey Holden was their only batter to really figure out Sprute. He had three hits in three at bats. He led off the fourth with a single, and then advanced to third on a bunt. He would score on a ground out to second for Parrish's only run. Parrish had won 23 straight games before running into Scappoose.

With only a one-run lead and Parrish with the last at-bat, Scappoose was on the edge. Unfazed, they came up in the bottom of the sixth and put the game away.

'We were confident,' Hering added. 'We wanted to rattle them a bit and started stealing bases. Aggressive base running got us going. We scored three runs when Wyatt (Patton) got one over the infield.'

Hering did note that the base running in the championship was probably their worst of the season, but that it helped secure the game.

Steven Johnson led off the sixth inning with a single. After Anthony Bernal singled to move Johnson to third, Jake Ford came in to run for Johnson. Sandoval was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. That brought up Patton who hit the ball hard through second base. Ford scored on the hit. The ball got thrown around a bit late and before it was all said and done three runs had scored and Patton was on second. Sprute took first on a fielder's choice that got Patton caught off base. Sprute stole second and Logan Brooks followed by hitting into an error. Owen Fortney singled to scored Sprute, and Jonathan Tardif followed with a single to send Brooks home.

Scappoose would allow Holden his third hit in the sixth, but retired the side without much trouble. Sprute put it away in the seventh.

Juniors now head to Irvine

for Western and #8200;Regionals

Juniors draw pool that includes both California teams, Washington, Montana, and Nevada

The Scappoose Juniors now play in the 12-team Western Regional Tournament in Irvine, Calif., Aug. 2-9.

The tournament is divided into two pools. Scappoose is in Pool B with Montana, N. California, S. California, Washington, and Nevada. Pool A consists of teams from Idaho, Hawaii, Arizona, Alaskan, Utah, and host Laguna Niguel.

'We're in the toughest pool,' Scappoose Manager Jeff Hering said. 'Both Northern California and Southern California are in the pool.'

Scappoose plays Montana at noon, Aug. 3 to kick off the tournament. They play Washington, Aug. 4; N. California, Aug. 6; and S. California, Aug. 7. The semifinals are Aug. 8 and finals Aug. 9. The top two teams from each pool make the finals.

The winner advances to the Little League World Series in Taylor, Mich.

Scappoose tournament scoring:

Little League State Tournament

Pool Play

Scappoose 16, Murrayhill 2

Scappoose 12, South Valley 2

Scappoose 14, Central Point 0

Semifinals

Scappoose 17, Jefferson County 0

Championship

Scappoose 7, Parrish 1

Little League District 1 Tournament

Scappoose 25, Parkrose 1

Scappoose 12, St. Helens 2

Championship

Scappoose 8, Parkrose 4

State:

Scappoose 66, Opponents 5

District

Scappoose 45, Opponents 7

Combined:

Scappoose 111, Opponents 12

State champion juniors slate fundraiser

The Scappoose Juniors Little League team needs some financial help them to get to the Western Regionals tournament next week in Irvine, Calif.

The team receives a small stipend from national Little League, and the local Scappoose Little League also contributes some money. Alaska Airlines has also given them a break on tickets. Still the team is short of all the funds they need for the weeklong trip. In addition to the airfare, they still have motel rooms, meals and a van rental to pay for.

The team is holding a car wash and barbecue this Wednesday at the Scappoose Middle School, starting at 3 p.m.

Persons willing to help can also make a tax-deductible contribution by mailing it to: Scappoose Little League, P.O. Box 592, Scappoose, OR 97056. The tax ID number is #93-0849752. Donors may also contact Albert Bernal, 503-543-7445 or Joe Backus, 503-860-5557.