Fultano's Pizza rolls to victory in Tournament of Champions
Facing the best Little League Majors baseball teams from across Columbia County in the Tournament of Champions, Scappoose's Fultano's Pizza stepped up like a champion.
And at the end of the June 4-11 tournament at Rainier Park, Fultano's Pizza had been crowned champion.
Fultano's Pizza, the top-seeded team in the 11-team single elimination tournament, won three straight times to take the tournament championship, which included all the Oregon District 1 teams from Clatskanie, Rainier, Scappoose and St. Helens.
Fultano's Pizza was led by manager Scott Harrah and coaches Erik Olsen and Robert Sprenger, and included Miles Harrison, Brian Moore, Eli Harrah, River McKee, Paavo Happala, Trever Olsen, Cayden Baker, Colton Sprenger, Aydan Lessley, Dominic Squires, Charles Fraser and Trey Dieringer.
Fultano's 6, Evenson Logging 5: Facing Clatskanie's Evenson Logging in its June 7 opener, Fultano's starter Eli Harrah pitched four scoreless innings and helped his team take a 5-0 lead into the fifth, but Clatskanie battled back to make it 5-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Undaunted, Fultano's squeaked out a 6-5 win when Squires scored on a single by Moore. Harrison, Moore and McKee had three hits each in the win, while Happala, Baker, Lessley and Squires had two hits each. McKee also had three RBIs.
Fultano's 7, Sunshine Pizza 3: In its second game, against St. Helens' Sunshine Pizza on Sunday, Fultano's started fast with five runs in the top of the first inning, with Eli Harrah setting the pace with a two-run triple. Harrison started on the mound and allowed only one run through 4 2/3 innings. Sunshine — one of three teams Fultano's lost to in the regular season — rallied in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasn't enough as Fultano's went on to win 7-3.
Fultano's 13, Vilardi Electric 8: Facing Rainier's Vilardi Electric in the Monday championship game, Fultano's saw Vilardi take a 1-0 lead after two innings against starter Eli Harrah.
But Squires singled and scored on Moore's double to tie the game in the third, and in the fourth, consecutive hits by Happala, Trever Olsen, Baker and Colton Sprenger brought home three runs to give Fultano's a 4-1 lead.
That lead didn't last long as Rainier scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to re-take the lead at 5-4, but Fultano's answered again with four runs in the fifth, that outburst capped by Colton Sprenger's bases-loaded single.
Rainier came back once more to tie the contest at 8-8 with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Fultano's put the game away — finally — in the top of the sixth. There, Squires singled, Fraser and Harrison walked to load the bases, Moore singled home one run and Eli Harrah followed with a double that plated two more.
McKee then singled, and Trever Olsen drove in Eli Harrah and McKee with a triple to cap their team's five-run inning.
Moore, who took the mound to start the fifth, struck out three batters in the bottom of the sixth inning to end the game. Vilardi was another of the teams that had previously beaten Fultano's in the regular season.
Earlier in the summer, Fultano's won the Emerald Championship in the Clackamas Wyler Invitational tournament in late May.