by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens Haidon Allen is run down during last Sundays championship with Parkrose. Allen was out, but St. Helens won the game to advance to the state tournament this week.Squad moves on to Little League

state tournament in Salem, opens

play with Crook County Saturday

The St. Helens Little League Juniors team earned themselves a trip to the state tournament with a win over Parkrose in the district tournament Sunday morning in Scappoose.

St. Helens went through the four-team tournament unbeaten. They topped Parkrose in their opener, downed Scappoose, and then beat Parkrose again for the title. They won both games against Parkrose, 5-2.

While St. Helens would have had to lose to Parkrose twice to have lost the championship, they pulled out a hard-fought win to get it done in one game.

The contest was still scoreless after two innings. St. Helens was the first on board. Haidon Allen reached base with a blooper into right that was misjudged by the fielder. He moved to second on the play, advanced on a play a first, and scored on a single by Justin Henningsen.

St. Helens made a couple of errors in the top of the fourth, and that plus a single loaded the bases for Parkrose. A sacrifice fly to left sent the tying run home. Parkrose took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth off a single, stolen base, a passed ball, and a single. Another runner was cut down at the plate.

The St. Helens team took control in the bottom of the fifth inning. Allen reached base after an out with a walk. Beau Mason singled to advance him, and Henningsen walked to load the bases. Christian Ross followed with a walk to tie the game. After a fly-out to center, Tyler Rea dropped in a shallow single to send another run home. Henningsen would trot home on a passed ball. St. Helens led 4-2.

One more run would be added by St. Helens in the bottom of the sixth, but they also missed a chance to score more with two runners caught off base on the same play. Kyle Ruege led off the inning with a walk, and although he got caught off base, he made it to second when the throw to second hit him in the back. He moved to third on a passed ball and was safe at home when Quintin Galvin hit into a fielder’s choice. Galvin stole second and third and Allen walked. Both were picked off.

St. Helens made some good defensive plays to shut down Parkrose and end the contest.

Henningsen pitched most of the game for St. Helens, and Keegan Kline came in to finish the last two innings.

The win sends St. Helens to Turner (Cascade High School) for the state tournament, July 15-19. Scappoose won the tournament last year.

St. Helens is in a three-team pool in the six-team tournament with host team Parrish and Crook County. They will face Crook County on Saturday. The other pool consists of Murrayhill, Grants Pass National, and the District 2 champion. The top two teams in each pool are in a two-game, single-elimination playoff. The championship game is slated for Thursday, July 19.

The winner at state moves on to the regional tournament in Vancouver, Wash.

Scappoose out in three

Scappoose started the Little League Juniors District Tournament with a win over Wilshire/Riverside, 13-4. They lost to St. Helens in the next game, 13-6.

That set up a high-scoring game with Parkrose. The winner advanced to the championship game with St. Helens. Both teams struggled a bit with their pitching, and Parkrose prevailed in the game, 19-16. The loss eliminated Scappoose. Parkrose had eliminated Wilshire/Riverside, 13-3, in an earlier game.

Scappoose did win the Sportsmanship Award for the tournament.

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