Gophers finish second at state
Bend North scores in five of the six innings to beat Gresham 14-4 in Friday's finale
Little League baseball
PORTLAND The Gresham all-stars kept it close early, but couldnt stop the Bend North bats from coming alive during a 14-4 loss in the majors Little League state finals Friday night at Alpenrose Dairy.
Bend North built a 4-0 lead before Trevor Bless hit a first-pitch home run to put Gresham on the scoreboard in the third inning. The Gophers stranded five runners in the first two innings.
Bend North pulled away by putting up nine runs over the next two innings, putting the mercy rule into play after a pair of two-run doubles by Dylan Ruhl and Drew Steelhammer in the fifth.
Gresham battled back in its half of the inning with Keegan Hunt sending a lead-off double to the center-field fence. The Gophers got under the 10-run margin and extended play after Kimo Hiu slid home on a sacrifice fly by Reece McKenzie.
Gresham managed two base runners in the sixth inning, but wouldnt score any more runs. A strikeout by reliever Evan Scalley closed out the game.
Obviously we would like to have kept it going, but we came out and gave it everything we had, Gresham manager Mike Abrahamson said.
Bend North advances to represent Oregon at the Northwest Regionals, which run Aug. 1-9, in San Bernardino, Calif. The winner of that tournament punches a ticket to the Little League World Series.
Look for expanded title game coverage in the Tuesday, July 29, print edition.
View a photo gallery from the state finals at daveball.exposuremanager.com.
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