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The Red Sox earn third place at the Junior American County Tournament

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED - Redland Red Sox pose proudly with their third place hardware from the 2014 Clackamas County Junior Baseball Junior American Championship Tournament. Pictured are: (first row, from left) Brandon OMalley, Robert Boland IV, Jonathan Schaffer, Spencer Townsend and Joey Whitehill; (second row) Ashton Stalheim, Eric Bergan, Mitchell Castor, Colby Cowan, Ryan Henkel and Joshua Jordal; and (back) coach Dean Bergan, coach Keven Schaffer and head coach Dave Jordal.The Redland Red Sox were one of the toughest 11- and 12-year-old youth baseball teams around in 2014.

Despite sporting a youthful lineup, the Sox earned third place at the recent Clackamas County Junior American Couanty Championship Tournament. And except for some inconsistency on defense, they would have fared even better.

“I’m proud of these guys, based on where we started and how they played [at the end of the season],” said Redland coach Dave Jordal. “We were pretty demanding of them. But they worked hard, and that’s why they did so well. They put the time in and proved that they could play at this level. Half of the team played Junior National last year, so this was their first time playing this caliber of baseball. They had great attitudes. They never gave up, and I couldn’t be prouder of them for their effort.”

The highlight of the county tournament came in the second round of the championship bracket, when Jordal’s Sox knocked off top-seeded Clackamas (Degregoria) 14-8. Clackamas had won Redland’s county league with a 14-0 record, while Redland had gone 10-4 in league, losing to Clackamas twice.

“We improved a lot since the first time we played them,” said Jordal. “Our defense was a lot tighter. The first time we played them we had five errors in one inning. This time we had two errors in the game, and we scored eight runs in the first three innings.”

The Sox also played tough defense in their first game of the county tournament, committing just one error in a 4-2 win over Milwaukie. Ryan Henkel, Mitchell Castor and Jonathan Schaffer teamed up to strike out 10 batters in the Milwaukie game.

The wheels then fell off, as the Sox lost 16-2 to a Tualatin team that had finished on top in their county league. That team went on to win the county title.

“We fell apart on defense and made a lot of errors [in the Tualatin game],” said Jordal. “That was the story of our season. We were hot and cold on defense.”

The errors continued in Redland’s next game, which they dropped 6-4 to Clackamas (Linn). They made five errors in that game.

The Sox began the state tournament like a house afire, pounding out 14 hits in a 9-8 win over Westview. Robert Boland, Spencer Townsend, Joshua Jordal, Castor, Brandon O’Malley and Joseph Whitehill all went 2-for-3 at the plate in the win.

The Sox then bowed out of the state tournament with two straight losses, losing to top-seeded Central 16-6 and to Centennial 10-5.

The Centennial game was a heartbreaker. Leading 5-3 heading into the final inning, the Sox committed six errors and gave up seven runs.

“It was frustrating,” said Jordal. “It’s hard to tell how good these kids could be if they were a little more consistent on defense.”

The Sox finished the year with an overall record of 24-11-2.

Members of the Redland Red Sox Junior American team included: Eric Bergan (left field/first base), Robert Boland (shortstop/third base), Mitchell Castor (pitching/first base), Colby Cowan (right field/second base), Ryan Henkel (pitcher/first base), Joshua Jordal (catcher/second base), Brandon O’Malley (left field/third base), Ashton Stalheim (centerfield/catcher), Jonathan Schaffer (pitcher/catcher), Spencer Townsend (shortstop) and Joseph Whitehill (right field/second base).

Dean Bergan and Keven Schaffer assisted Jordal in coaching the team.

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