While fans of youth baseball struck out in Forest Grove this week, there was a story with a happier ending up the road in Banks, where a determined band of small-town boys last week proved that they could play with the best of them.

Taking their cue from the Oregon State Beavers, the Banks Senior American squad mowed down 19 of 20 opponents en route to winning the Washington County championship, then capped things off by placing third in the state tournament. Third, out of 92 teams, with just two pitchers.

As Coach Mike Soper noted, it was a community effort, from the businesses that sponsored the team to the school district, which loaned not only its field, but its high school coach Wyman Smith as well.

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