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Gresham American surrenders only three runs through the entire rookie tourney, beating Clackamas 6-1 for the title

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Gresham American teammates Josiah Wolcott, left, and Connor Blaire-Brown celebrate after a double play secured the final out during the teams 6-1 championship win over Clackamas on Friday. TROUTDALE —

The Gresham American all-star team scored in the first inning and never looked back during Friday’s 6-1 win over Clackamas to take the rookie (ages 9-10) District 2 Little League crown.

Clackamas had a chance to gain the early edge, pushing runners to second and third base in its opening at-bats, but Gresham starter Josiah Wolcott ended the threat with a strikeout and put the bats into his teammates hands.

After having a pair of runners thrown out at the plate, Gresham broke through with a pair of first-inning runs on an RBI-single by Kanyan Wallace and an RBI-double by Jaden Fulsher.

“It’s always nice to burst the other team’s bubble with some early runs,” Gresham coach Ryan Weber said.

Gresham hit 7 for 12 (.583) with two outs and scored five of its six runs in those situations.

Clackamas tried to get close by advancing a runner to third base in the third inning, but Wolcott knocked down a line-drive on the mound and made the throw to first to send Clackamas to the dugout empty handed.

The Americans extended to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third on RBI-singles from Fulsher and Zach Jones.

Clackamas scored its only run in the fourth inning when Noah Albers sent a lead-off double to deep center field and came home on a wild pitch a couple batters later.

“That was a good team we were playing,” Gresham coach Ryan Weber said. “But we were doing everything we were supposed to do.”

Gresham tallied two more runs down the stretch, one coming on a fielder’s choice by Wolcott in the fourth inning and the last coming on a single by Jones in the fifth.

Wolcott struck out seven batters before giving way to reliever Weston Radke early in the fifth inning. Radke surrendered only one hit in his time on the mound.

The Americans ended the game on a double play when shortstop Wilson Weber picked up a ground ball and fired to first base, and Wolcott alertly zipped the ball across the infield allowing Wallace to tag out the lead runner 10 feet off third base.

Gresham’s defense was on its game throughout the tournament, giving up only three runs in its four games.

“Our defense was flawless,” Weber said. “Everybody was in position on every single pitch, and you need to have that if you’re going to make those web gem type plays.”

The Americans advance to the rookie state tournament hosted by Lake Oswego Little League. Gresham opens play in Saturday’s early game against the winner from District 6.

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