Gresham Nationals put up a big fifth-inning tally to get past Reynolds 13-2 in a rematch of last years district final

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Gresham Nationals starter Hunter Hemenway fires toward the plate during his teams 13-2 win over Reynolds on Tuesday afternoon. The Nationals, the defending district champs, are one win away from reaching this years title round. The Gresham National all-stars put up some late fireworks to knock off Reynolds 13-2 in the second round of the majors (ages 11-12) district Little League playoffs Tuesday night.

Tied 2-2 entering the fifth inning, the National side broke the game open with a seven-run spurt that saw it put nine straight batters on base during one stretch. That streak was highlighted by back-to-back doubles from Tyler Pederson and Tyler Linch.

Ethan Marshall pushed the lead to 8-2 with a two-run single that skipped through the left side of the infield. Two batters later, he found himself caught in a hotbox off third base, but he managed to slide home safely under an attempted tag to cap the scoring burst.

Cameron Gleason of Reynolds turned a double play from second base to escape further damage.

Gresham continued to pull away in the sixth inning, highlighted by Linch’s two-run homer that clipped the top of the center-field fence and bounced over to give the Nationals a 10-run lead.

The game marked a rematch of last year’s district finals — also won by the Nationals.

Gresham advanced to play Clackamas on Thursday night with the winner earning a spot in Saturday’s 12 p.m. championship game. Results from Thursday were not available at press time.

Reynolds took a 2-0 lead with its first at-bats and had a chance for more, but Gresham starter Hunter Hemenway came up with a strikeout to leave the bases loaded.

Reynolds maintained its slim edge with a pair of top defensive plays in the second inning.

The first came on a pitch in the dirt that saw Reynolds starter Lucas Dehnert sprint home and make the tag at the plate. Moments later, Caden Gorden went to his knees to stop a ground ball in the dirt, flipping the ball to first base for the final out which stranded the tying run at third base.

Gresham pulled even in the third on Hemenway’s RBI-single through the middle. The Nationals had a chance to take the lead, but Jordan May of Reynolds made a catch in deep center field to end the inning.

The Nationals tried to move ahead in the fourth inning when Linch connected for a lead-off single, but Dehnert struck out the next three batters to keep the game deadlocked 2-2.

Reynolds had its chance when it loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth, but Linch scooped up a ground ball near first base, needing just two steps to stomp on the bag and end the scare.

Linch led the Nationals by hitting 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs, while Hemenway went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

Hemenway highlighted his time on the mound by striking out the side in the second inning. Greg Mehlhaff came on in relief in the fourth inning and didn’t allow a hit, while striking out five.

by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Greshams Greg Mehlhaff slides safely into third base and would eventually score in the fifth inning of Tuesdays win over Reynolds.

Sports Editor David Ball can be reached at 503-492-5125 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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