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West Linn All Star team battles its way to a 3-1 record but loses tie-breaker to Co County, Euphrata

TIDINGS PHOTO: MILES VANCE - West Linn shortstop Cam Ortiz tries to turn a double play during his team's 13-1 win over The Dalles in the championship game of the 13U Babe Ruth state championship game on Saturday at West Linn High School.The West Linn 13U All Stars narrowly missed out on a shot at the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament in Meridian, Idaho over the weekend due tie-breaker rules. The Lions won three of four games in the competitive regional, just missing out on a chance to play in the semifinals.

Despite holding the same record as Ephrata and Co County — two other teams in their bracket — West Linn lost the tie-breaker because they had allowed more runs throughout the tournament than their competitors. Despite the ending, head coach Jordan Pearson said he was proud of the way his team battled throughout the tournament.

"It was kind of a bummer for us but the boys played hard and did everything they could to put us in a good position to advance," he said after the tournament. "(It's) too bad teams tied with the same record couldn't have a play-in game."

The West Linn 13U All Stars opened up with a strong showing in their first game behind the right arm of Luke Paschall, ultimately winning a close 6-5 decision. Smart base running and timely hitting allowed the Lions to get off on the right foot.

"The boys came ready to play and Luke Paschall came in clutch, holding a powerhouse offense down for most of the game," Pearson said. "Small ball and the West Linn way allowed us to stay in the game with some clutch base running by Brandon Drew. Ty Lorenz and Mason Vanbeenen had multiple savvy slides to home as well as second."

West Linn then kept the momentum going in the second contest, battling from behind between after a slow start. Nate Watts kept the Lions close with five successful innings on the mound before execution down the stretch allowed West Linn to improve to 2-0 in the tournament.

West Linn trailed Calgary 8-7 late in its third game of the regional, but exploded for a 16-8 victory thanks in part to a bases-clearing triple from Zach Stefanich with the bags loaded in the sixth inning. West Linn then lost a 6-5 thriller to Co County in its final game of the regional, just missing out on a chance to play in the semifinals.

"Overall we played really well," Pearson said. "We were all really proud of the boys."

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