Little League teams from St. Helens, Scappoose, Rainier and Clatskanie vie for country title
by: John Brewington ACE PITCHER—Levi Norton of the St. Helens Dutch Bros. team struck out 15 batters in a complete six-inning game against TFT Construction of St. Helens on Saturday in a first-round game of the Tournament of Champions.

It's become an annual rite of passage for Columbia County Little League teams: the annual Tournament of Champions.

The tournament used to pit just the top teams from the county, but now all the Little League teams have a chance to win the coveted crown.

This year's tournament began Saturday with four different pools playing at five locations--two fields in Scappoose, one in St. Helens, one in Rainier and one in Clatskanie.

The top four teams were seeded: Fultano's Pizza of Clatskanie was the top seed, with Dutch Bros. of St. Helens the second seed. Gregg Carr Construction of Rainier was the third seed, and Tim's Cascade Snacks of Scappoose was the fourth seed.

By Monday, all four semifinalists had been determined. Those teams went unbeaten in their first two games, earning them a spot in the championship bracket.

Those advancing include include Fultano's, Dutch Bros., Gregg Carr, and Rightline Equipment of Rainier.

The championship bracket teams square off on Saturday and Sunday with all games in Scappoose. The winners Saturday will play for the championship Sunday at 3 p.m., while the losers will play for third at 12:30 p.m.

Pairings for the semifinal games, both at 5 p.m. in Scappoose, will be: Fultano's vs. Rightline; Dutch Bros. vs. Gregg Carr Construction.

Four games were played on Saturday. Fultano's beat Northwest Structural Moving of Scappoose in the Pool A game in Scappoose, 14-1.

Dutch Bros. got a 15-strikeout performance from Levi Norton and shutout TFT Construction in the Pool B contest, 7-0, in St. Helens.

Gregg Carr took on Dow Bros. of St. Helens in the other early game, posting a 10-0 win.

That afternoon in Scappoose, Rainier's Rightline Equipment upset Tim's Cascade Snacks, 5-2.

The Decoy Barn and Semling's Pharmacy, both of St. Helens played in the other afternoon game in St. Helens. The Decoy Barn won, 9-1.

There were also five games on Monday: Fultano's beat Beaver Heat Treatment, 3-0; Dutch Bros. downed Sunshine Pizza, 12-2; Gregg Carr topped Steinfeld's, 4-1; Tim's Cascade Snacks whipped Semling's, 9-1; and Rightline Equipment beat the Decoy Barn, 7-1.

Wednesday's games don't feature any of the semifinalists: NW Structural vs. Beaver Heat Treatment; Steinfeld's vs. Dow Bros.; and TFT Construction against Sunshine Pizza.

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